Leisure operator supports charity swim for spinal cord injury

Updated: 31 August 2018

Communities in and around Rickmansworth, South Oxhey and Watford are being encouraged to swim the length of the English Channel in a bid to raise vital funds for a national charity.

Communities in and around Rickmansworth, South Oxhey and Watford are being encouraged to swim the length of the English Channel in a bid to raise vital funds for a national charity.

Everyone Active, which operates at Sir James Altham Pool in South Oxhey, William Penn Leisure Centre in Rickmansworth, Watford Woodside Leisure Centre and Watford Central Leisure Centre, is encouraging local people to support Aspire a spinal cord injury charity by signing up to its Channel Swim Challenge.

The event begins on Monday 10 September, when participants will have 12 weeks to swim a total of 22 miles, the distance of the English Channel. All money raised will support Aspire to continue helping those with spinal cord injuries to live independent and fulfilled lives.

Every eight hours someone in the UK is paralysed by a spinal cord injury. Aspire provides a wide-range of assistance to those effected, including much-needed housing support, grants to purchase vital equipment and advisors who offer practical support to patients on spinal cord units.

Last year, more than 6,500 Aspire Channel Swimmers raised a total of £625,000. Aspire is hoping to make this year’s event even bigger through the support of organisations such as Everyone Active.

Sir James Altham Pool and William Penn Leisure Centre are managed in partnership with Three Rivers District Council. The main pools at both sites feature ‘poolpods’ – accessible pool lifts that enable users who need support in entering the water to do so independently. These facilities ensure that everyone, regardless of their ability, is able to take part in the challenge.

Both Watford Woodside and Watford Central Leisure Centre are operated by Everyone Active on behalf of Watford Borough Council. They are currently undergoing significant refurbishments that will result in customers having access to a range of new and improved facilities.

Kathryn Boyd, event manager for the Aspire Channel Swim, said: “Aspire Channel Swimmers truly are amazing. Fewer people have swum the Channel than conquered Everest, yet every year thousands of people take on 22 miles over 12 weeks in pools across the country. It’s an incredible achievement and one that helps support hundreds of spinal cord injured people every year.”

Jacqui Tillman, Head of swimming at Everyone Active, added: “The work that the team at Aspire carry out is fantastic and we are delighted to be supporting them.

“The Channel Swim Challenge is a fantastic way for people to raise money for a great cause while also improving their own health and wellbeing by getting active. I would encourage as many people as possible to get involved.”

The challenge will run from Monday 10 September to Monday 3 December. To sign up, visit www.everyoneactive.com/AspireSwim  or www.aspirechannelswim.co.uk .