What's Happening in Walsall blog

Swimmers diving in for channel challenge

Some Walsall swimmers who are attempting to swim the English Channel tested their sea legs as they headed for a dip at Dover’s famous Swimmers’ Beach.

Rob Cash, Paul Bates, Darran Dyke, Stuart Dugmore, Gary Edgington and Richard Brownjohn have created the Big Ricks Swim Team and are going to swim the English Channel in memory of their friend Mark Rickhuss. Mark suffered a heart attack in 2005 while helping another swimmer try and swim the Channel.

The team, along with reserve swimmer Nicky Alsop, are all members of the Walsall Swimming Club and have already raised more than £11,000 for charity.

At Swimmers’ Beach, they trained with Freda Streeter who has been training Channel swimmers for over 25 years.

“Once the safety briefing was sorted Freda went on to tell us what she wanted us to do – the plan is with no exceptions, and she meant none, was to swim for two hours with a one hour rest, then back in for another hour to finish off,” said Paul.

“As you swim across you must make sure you don’t get pushed out to sea by the strong tide, which is very easy to do. Just ask Paul and Doug who were almost in France at one point. The sea was a bit choppy on the day, especially as you approached the left harbour wall, but it wasn’t so bad that you couldn’t swim. Most of us were starting to feel a little cold. The swim was hard but swimming the channel is not meant to be easy, as Freda keeps saying.”

To sponsor the team head to http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/bigrickschannelswim2011

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