Dean swam 22 miles in one day, raising over £1,300
I found out about the Aspire Channel Swim because I have a lot of friends who work for my local gym who have supported the charity and the challenge. I took on the challenge because I like the idea of pushing boundaries. This is the first sponsored event I have done. I decided to do the swim in one day to make it as hard as I possibly could, to maximise the potential for donations.
I enjoy swimming because it reminds me of my perseverance - only 4 years ago I could barely swim a length of a pool, but I had ambitions of completing an Ironman, which included a 3.8 km swim.
With the help from my wife - who taught me everything I know in a pool - I was not only able to complete the 3.8 km distance, I was also able to complete the unbelievable Aspire Channel Swim - swimming 1440 lengths in 11 hours!
I swim quite regularly, around 2-3 times a week, as part of my triathlon training, but as it is a solitary sport you have a lot of time in your own thoughts, and I find it a good time to reflect. Swimming during the pandemic was very challenging as the centre I swim in closed and there weren’t regular opportunities to open water swim. This was frustrating but there was nothing I could do about it, so I just adapted my training to try and incorporate other methods.
Most of my fundraising was done through Facebook and Instagram. I was also grateful to Ringwood Leisure Centre who put a story in the local paper for me. This was a great way to spread the word locally which also helped with on the day donations, as they did a live tracker of my progress.
I find it hard raising money for charity and feel I have to do something above and beyond to be deserving of people’s money. That’s why I took on the one day swim. I think that’s what encouraged people’s generosity, as they could clearly see I was ready to do anything for the challenge ahead.
My tips for anyone fundraising would be to keep updating your supporters of your progress, the training you have done or the amazing donations you have so far, as this really keeps fresh in people’s minds the dedication and hard work you’re doing for a great charity.
It means a lot to raise money for people with spinal cord injuries as I know the money raised is going to an amazing charity which does incredible things for the people who need it the most. Recently a role model in the triathlon community had a bike accident and sustained a spinal cord injury. I found out about the Aspire Channel Swim challenge after this, and I just thought this was an amazing opportunity to contribute to help others who are in a similar situation.
I have had an incredible experience doing my swim challenge, it was incredibly hard but 100% worth every second. I hope to work with the Aspire team in the future in other interesting challenges.