Swimmer’s countdown to Channel challenge

Chris Pitman
Chris Pitman
Homer Close, where the incident took place. PHOTO: Google

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THERE’S just six months to go before a Havant woman attempts to become the oldest British woman to swim the English Channel.

Chris Pitman, of Hulbert Road, will be 61 when she makes the attempt in September to cross one of the worlds busiest shipping channels.

And with the cost of the swim covered after years of fundraising the swimming coach has set her sights on raising as much money as possible for charities close to her heart.

Fifteen years ago she had her first pacemaker fitted but she is still healthy enough to make the 21-mile crossing between Dover and Calais.

Earlier this week she did a one-mile swim along the Dorset coast to launch the British Heart Foundation’s Weymouth Bay Swim which takes place in June.

Thanks to the generosity of family and friends, including supporters from Horizon Leisure Centre where she works, she has managed to raise £4,500.

That will cover the cost of the support team which will be by her side during the swim and the cost of going to training events.

Mrs Pitman said: ‘Now all my costs are covered I’m concentrating on the important things, training and raising money for charity. I’m going to be supporting the British Heart Foundation, Help for Heroes and Children with Cancer.’

‘In May the sea season starts and I will be training under the watchful eye of Freda Streeter, known as The General, who supervises all the channel swimmers.

‘I’ll be trying to build up the hours in the run up to September. I’m still sea swimming at the moment but I can only do 15 minutes at a time because it’s so cold.’

To take part in the Weymouth Bay Swim call 0800 169 3672 or email northwestwales@bhf.org.uk

To support Chris’ charities drop a donation in to Horizon Leisure Centre, Civic Centre Road, Havant, clearly marked Chris Pitman.