Laura features in the ads and has done the Aspire Channel Swim 8 times

I have taken on the Aspire Channel Swim every year since I joined Aspire as Communications Manager in 2014. Although I have been in photos to promote the Swim before, I have never featured in the ads. I’m not actually sure I actively volunteered to do it, I just didn’t say “no” and that is how, somehow, I found myself in the swimming pool at the Aspire Leisure Centre being encouraged to laugh and smile by our friendly photographer. But he quickly put us at ease.

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We had been asked to wear something colourful and as I usually wear black in the pool, I had popped onto Amazon to find some colourful swimwear, which I didn’t mind buying as I knew I’d be able to wear it on my upcoming holiday in Gran Canaria. The underwater shots were the most fun as the photographer held a camera the size of a dinner plate right by my face and told me not to worry if I hit it (or him) as I swam!

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I’m still getting used to seeing myself on the website and social media! So far I’ve seen one of me smiling and one swimming underwater.

This year will be my 9th Aspire Channel Swim. Every year I say I’m not going to do it again, but every year as September approaches I just can’t resist! My main motivation is that it makes me go swimming and I’m thinking it would be great to reach 10 in a row! I really enjoy swimming and usually go first thing in the morning as it’s a great way to start the day, but I find it extremely difficult to motivate myself to do any exercise. Signing up to swim 22 miles makes me go regularly. My 10 year old niece wants to do it as a team with me this year so at least that may reduce the number of lengths I need to do a little bit.

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The other reason I always sign up is to fundraise. I am always surprised by how many people I know still sponsor me year after year. I also know how difficult it is for Aspire to raise enough funds so they can carry on supporting people with Spinal Cord Injury, and so I know that whatever amount I raise will be put to good use to support people with spinal cord injuries.

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