JAMIE Truckel may only be eight, but that didn’t stop him swimming 1,462 lengths to raise money for people with spinal injuries.
Over the past 12 weeks, with the support of his mum and dad, Jamie has swum the equivalent of the 22-mile width of the English Channel in the course of about 40 sessions at the David Lloyd Leisure Club in Port Solent.
And he has raised around £400 for Aspire – a charity that helps people with back injuries.
Jamie, from Newlyn Way in Port Solent, said: ‘I have been swimming since I was very young.
‘I thought this was a bit different and I just wanted to raise money.
‘I feel very good because now I can play football again. I had to miss a lot of football to go swimming.
‘I feel pleased and proud. At the end I was happy and relieved.’
His proud dad Graham said: ‘Jamie’s swimming teacher, who has been his teacher since he was two, brought it to our attention that the charity was doing a challenge.
‘He asked if anyone wanted to take part and nobody else got involved but Jamie put himself forward.
‘He started from September 8 and has been having sessions in between football lessons.
‘It has been fairly flexible in terms of how much swimming he does each time. Sometimes he would do 60 lengths, others only 30.
‘As long as I or his mum were there to count them and adjudicate and write them down it counts.’
Jamie completed his 1,462-length swim on Saturday.
His dad said: ‘We are so proud of him because it’s the biggest challenge that he has ever taken on.
‘It’s been down to his own perseverance and commitment that he has completed it.
‘I imagine he will be wanting to take on another challenge now because he has enjoyed the limelight.
‘There will be other activities that he wants to get involved in to help raise money.
‘It’s the first bit of fundraising through swimming that he has done. Jamie has done some fundraising with his football club Fleur De Lys.’
So far, the eight-year-old has raised £400, with friends at Court Lane Junior School in Hilary Avenue, Cosham, donating £70 from their pocket money.
To sponsor Jamie visit justgiving.com/truckel.