The Swimming and Water Polo club from the University of Sheffield is in the midst of preparing for one of their biggest and most challenging charity swims ever.
Next year, a team of nine swimmers will battle the elements to cross the English Channel in order to raise as much money as they can for Alzheimer’s Research UK.
Charity Officer Rosie Rudin said: “One of the biggest challenges is the temperature.
“We get to cover ourselves in goose fat in order to retain some sort of heat.”
The swimmers have been warned by others of the unpleasantries of swimming the channel, in the form of induced nausea and the potential to find yourself stuck in place as the waves and tide prevents you from making progress.
Miss Rudin has said she is personally swimming in memory of her grandfather, who died of Alzheimer’s two years ago.
“We were very close, he came to watch some of our swimming events.”
This academic year, the club has raised over £8000 for charity through different swim events, like their 24-hour swim for the Teenage Cancer Trust.
So far, they have raised £600 for Alzheimer’s Research UK and their fundraising success earned them the Fundraising Initiative award at the University’s recent Virtual Sports Awards.
In order to maintain peak fitness and form during the lockdown in preparation for the return to swimming, many of the athletes have adopted creative techniques to train.
Miss Rudin explained how she and her family purchased a large pool for the back garden and tied bungee cords to the sides so she could swim against resistance.
When speaking to Forge Press editor Alex Brotherton in a previous interview about her methods, Miss Rudin said: “The pool is very extremely cold (10-15 degrees celsius) compared to a normal pool, which is about 28 degrees.”
Currently, the team is attempting to raise funds that will allow them to pay the costs of attempting the channel swim, by individually swimming or cycling the length of the channel during the lockdown.
A pilot boat, which will assist the team across the channel and carry the other swimmers when it isn’t their stint in the relay, will cost £4300.
Furthermore, insurance, accommodation and Channel Swimming Association fees will add nearly £3500 to the total cost.
Both the team’s Go Fund Me and Just Giving pages are below if you wish to help out.