‘Channel’ swim in the pool raises hundreds for Aspire

DEEP COMMITMENT: Tony Saunders (left) and Graeme Kelly

‘Channel’ swim in the pool raises hundreds for Aspire

by Andy Tong | 1st February 2019

TWO members of Larkfield Leisure Centre spent a total of 15 hours swimming in the fitness pool as part of the Aspire Channel Swim.

Graeme Kelly, 46, and Tony Saunders, 52, undertook the challenge to swim the equivalent of the English Channel at its narrowest point, 22 miles.

They raised £640 for Aspire, a national charity that provides practical help to people who have been paralysed by spinal cord injury.

The distance can be covered over a 12-week period, but the pair decided to try to complete it in one day.

Both are experienced athletes, though Graeme said: “When I told my family I wanted to do the swim in one day, they thought I was mad!”

Between them they swam 84 miles in training. On the day itself Graeme had to bow out at the 12-hour mark due to a shoulder injury, having completed 18½ miles, but Tony completed the marathon effort.

Graeme is determined to complete the challenge next year and is contemplating an open-water version in one of the local lakes.

He said: “All the staff were really helpful on the day, it was great. I wore waterproof headphones and listened to music for most of the swim.

“The fundraising went really well, but we also wanted to raise a bit of awareness.”

For more information about the Aspire Channel Swim, visit aspire.org.uk/swimming

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