Brother and sister swim the Solent for MND association

FAMILY Charles Rolls, right, and his sister Katie swam across the Solent for Motor Neurone Disease
FAMILY Charles Rolls, right, and his sister Katie swam across the Solent for Motor Neurone Disease
Connor Brackstone

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Having looked across the water to the Isle of Wight on several occasions as children, a brother and sister team decided to swim the Solent and raise money for charity.

Katie Rolls, from Fareham Road, Gosport had just come back from travelling and had a bit of time on her hands so she roped her brother Charles into going for a swim off the coast at Stokes Bay.

After awhile the pair swam out to the furthest buoy they could.

Then they both decided to try and test themselves further by swimming across the Solent.

The pair became aware of people raising money for Motor Neurone Disease Association (MND) by swimming from Ryde, IoW to Portsmouth, and thought they could do the same but finish in Stokes Bay.

Katie said: ‘We have both always been keen swimmers and had spent a lot of time in the sea when I came back from travelling.

‘We heard about the MND event and thought we could do something similar.

‘It is such a good cause which helps a lot of people.’

The pair immediately began training for three months to get themselves ready for the challenge. After toying with the idea of doing the swim in a wetsuit, the brother and sister team decided to cross the Solent in regular swimming costumes to add to the difficulty.

Charles – who was nominated as The News’ paperboy of the year when he was 14 – pulled ahead of his sister as she struggled against the current.

In total it took them two-hours to finish the task, raising more than £1,000 between them.

‘The change in current completely took me by surprise,’ added Kate. ‘I found the final stretch really tough but knowing it was for a good cause spurred me on.

‘We were given these armbands which said ‘warrior’ and ‘angel’ on them and it was our responsibility to get our angels and warriors to shore safely.

‘That was my motivation to keep going.’

The pair are still collecting money so to donate please visit