Toddlers swim the width of English Channel for charity

Babies and toddlers at Swimtots
Babies and toddlers at Swimtots

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A SWIMMING club for babies and toddlers made a splash when they took on a challenge for charity.

Swimtots, which runs classes in Portsmouth and Bedhampton, participated in the Aspire Challenge to raise money for people paralysed by spinal cord injury.

The swim challenges participants to cover the distance of the English Channel (22 miles) over a 12-week period at their local pool.

Director of Swimtots, Sarah Buchan, said about 60 babies and toddlers took part.

She said the idea was to show that even the youngest swimmers could take part in fundraisers.

She said: ‘The event went really well and all the children were amazing.

‘Some of the babies who took part are only 10 months old and managed to swim over 100 metres, which is just incredible.

‘It was great to witness and I am immensely proud of everyone who got involved.’

Mrs Buchan said two personal stories inspired Swimtots to take part in the challenge.

She said: ‘I had a major back injury in 2001 and swimming was part of the rehabilitation.

‘We also have a baby at Swimtots who is paralysed from the waist down.

‘So I thought Aspire would be a perfect charity to raise money for.’

Mrs Buchan said the response to the challenge from all the parents of the children was fantastic.

She said: ‘All the parents got behind us and gave their children so much support on the day.

‘Some parents even joined in with the swim. It was great to see the parents getting some exercise swimming alongside their babies and toddlers.

‘It really enforced what our lessons are about, having fun and bonding with your child.’

Mrs Buchan said they aimed to raise £1,000 for the charity, which offers support for people with spinal cord injury.

Swimtots’s lessons are held at the Royal Maritime Club in Portsmouth and Barncroft School in Bedhampton.