Swimming the Channel – Indoors

by Gerry Lynch last modified 03 Oct, 2016 02:39 PM

Archdeacon in 22 mile swimming challenge to raise money for people with spinal cord injuries

The Archdeacon of Wilts, the Ven Sue Groom, is swimming 22 miles to raise money for Aspire, a charity that helps people with spinal cord injuries.

“The swim is now getting easier”, said Sue, “It was tough going at first but I must be getting fitter. I had been swimming 32 lengths at a go, or half a mile, four times a week but for the challenge increased my sessions to 50 or even 64 lengths.”

Participants in the Aspire Channel Swim are sponsored to swim 22 miles, equal to the distance from Dover to Calais, over 12 weeks in their local swimming pool. Aspire is a national charity that provides practical help to people who have been paralysed by Spinal Cord Injury.

Aspire provides grants so people can buy the equipment they need to live life to the full, fully accessible properties for use on a short-term basis while people’s homes are adapted, assistive technology, and advice.

“It was a poster at the swimming pool that made me aware of Aspire and the Channel Swim, just at the time the Paralympics were starting”, Sue continued, “The achievements of the paralympians in Rio were incredible, some of them by people with spinal injuries.

“Aspire is based at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore. I did my second curacy just down the road from there at Eastcote, and during that time I did some cover duty for the chaplain there, who is a good friend. That’s one point of resonance.

“The other point of resonance is that I have orthopaedic problems of my own. I was born with a dislocated hip which has left me with a limp and some arthritis.

“I have now swum 15.1 miles, so I’m ‘two-thirds of the way to France’. So it looks like I will be able to complete the crossing within a month - so much faster than I imagined.

“But, I see that the fundraising is lagging behind - only 65% of my revised target of £1,000. If you could support me and people with spinal injuries, I’d greatly appreciate it.”

You can support Aspire and Sue’s swimming exploits via her Just Giving page, here and learn more about the Aspire Channel Swim here.

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