FEATURES,  Features

Why we’re swimming from Oxford to Henley

On 14 July, five of us, open water swimmers from the Openwaterclubs Oxford and Henley, will be donning our wetsuits and setting out on an epic 50-mile (80km) swim, altogether, as a pod, from Oxford to Henley. The challenge is all being done in aid of local charity the Chiltern Centre for Disabled Children who aim to give disabled children and young people the opportunity to live life to the full whilst providing their families with a valuable break and the support they need in their vital role as carers. Although the charity is local, there is no post code restriction on who can benefit from help from the centre. The only limitation to help more children and families is budget, to cover the cost of more staff.

Our intention is to swim the distance over two and a half days starting at Osney Lock in Oxford and finishing after approximately 50 miles at the Angel on the Bridge in Henley on Saturday 16 July in the afternoon.

We are all experienced open water swimmers and we are used to swimming in lakes and in the Thames. Nevertheless, this is by far the biggest challenge any of us has ever taken on. It might be a quick drive from Oxford to Henley, but the Thames, in contrast, takes a long, meandering stroll through the beautiful countryside to get there; 50 miles is a long way to swim.

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Although the swim takes place in summer and we will be wearing wetsuits, spending up to 10 hours a day in sub 18-degree Celsius water (the weather hasn’t really been playing ball this year!) is still a big expense of energy in itself and will add to the challenge. But we are all very excited about the whole adventure and the support we are getting, and we have all been training hard, finding time for long swims, usually really early in the morning and bonding as a team too.

We have set our fundraising target high too: £15,000.00, which will enable the Chiltern Centre to fund one of the on-site nurses for nine months. We have raised £4K so far and this would already fund 12 overnight stays at the centre. So really, when things get tough on our swim (and they will!), this is what will definitely keep us going.

We will have a tracker with us on the swim so you can follow our journey online – all the details will be posted on our Facebook page before we start. Please “like” our page and follow us on twitter to get the updates. Feel free to leave us messages during the swim, as our support team will be able to pass them on. Those do REALLY help!

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/O2H50Miles/

Twitter : @O2H50Miles 

And don’t forget, the team are raising money for a great cause. See: 


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Outdoor Swimmer is the magazine for outdoor swimmers by outdoor swimmers. We write about fabulous wild swimming locations, amazing swim challenges, swim training advice and swimming gear reviews.