Spinal injuries charity Aspire has celebrated seven years of fundraising through open water swimming events. At a celebration dinner on Saturday 14 November the charity thanked swimmers for raising £748,540 since 2009.
Aspire have held swim events in Snowdonia, the Lake District, Malta and Turkey, as well as Dusk ‘til Dawn and Night Swims. Over 100 people have swum the Solent, 12 people have swum a Loch Ness relay and 28 relay teams have successfully swum the English Channel. In 2015 alone the total raised for Aspire from open water swims is £162,980. Forty-four people successfully swam the Solent, a team of six swam Loch Ness and 38 successfully completed a Channel relay.
Swimmers honoured at the Swimming Celebration Dinner included Jan Morse for raising £4,264 for her Channel relay, the Crocodiles for raising a collective £14,978 and Jon Pendleton and Toby Sheppard for raising £2,460 each for their Solent swim. The awards were presented by Brian Carlin, CEO of Aspire, Nick Adams (president) and Kevin Murphy (secretary) of the The Channel Swimming & Piloting Federation.
Aspire’s largest swimming event, the Aspire Channel Swim, is currently taking place and encourages people to swim the length of the Channel (22 miles) in their local pool over a 12-week period from September to December.
“We were delighted that so many of our swimmers were able to attend this event, as it gave us the opportunity to thank them personally,” said Carlin. “Every eight hours someone in the UK is paralysed by a spinal cord injury. We are extremely grateful for the ongoing support of all of our committed swimmers, whether they swim the Aspire Channel Swim in their local pool or undertake an open water challenge such as swimming Loch Ness, the Solent or the English Channel.”