Friends take on ‘Channel swim’ in memory of Chris

A fund raising afternoon was held at The Fox Tavern in Gosport to raise money for the funeral of Royal Navy veteran, Raymond Daniels.

IN PICTURES: People who have made The News

Have your say

UP TO 100 swimmers took to the water in memory of a man who died after suffering a heart attack at a pool.

Chris Hunt was just 44 when he collapsed at Waterlooville Leisure Centre following a training session in 2007.

Ever since his sudden death, friends have organised the Chris Hunt Memorial Channel Challenge.

The non-stop relay event sees swimmers try to swim the distance to France and back.

And it’s all done in butterfly – one of the most demanding strokes but Mr Hunt’s favourite.

The swim was organised by Havant and Waterlooville Swimming Club and all money raised at the sponsored event is given to the British Heart Foundation.

Mr Hunt’s mum and dad, Marguerite and Charles Hunt, watched the event with their family.

Mrs Hunt said: ‘I just want to say thank you to everyone for organising it and to the people taking part.

‘They do it every year, and I’m so pleased.’

The idea after Mr Hunt’s death was for the club to raise money for a defibrillator which could potentially save lives in similar circumstances.

But one was provided by the pool’s parent company, Direct Leisure, which also owns Havant Swimming Pool, so now the event is run for the British Heart Foundation.

This year’s event raised around £600 for the charity, and the 111 swimmers completed 68 miles between them – 20 more than the 48 it would take to get from Dover to Calais and back.

Head coach Graham Pople said: ‘This just gets better and better each year, with more people taking part. This year our youngest swimmer is seven, and our oldest is in her 60s.’

The event saw many families taking part, including Trevor and Zoe Jones with two-year-old son Daniel. The final 25m was swum by eight of Mr Hunt’s friends, with all others lined up poolside in silence, in his memory.