David Kerr will slip into Portadown Swimming Pool (Cascades) this morning with the coast of France just half-a-mile away!
Wheelchair user David will touch the coast at ‘Calais’ to complete his English Channel cyber swim that started 10 weeks ago – at ‘The White Cliffs of Dover’ – and which is raising money for the charity Aspire, which helps people with spinal injuries.
He readily admits that he never left the calm waters of the pool – which is free of pounding waves, jellyfish and cargo vessels! – and today’s 20-plus lengths will complete the 22 miles that separate the South Coast of England from The Continent.
“It’s all measured by computer, and by the extremely helpful staff of Cascades,” he said as he prepared for that final ‘leg’. “Without them, I just couldn’t have done it.”
David (31) is a couple of weeks ahead of schedule, having done 25 lengths of the pool every day, five days a week, plus a few extras. “Of course, I couldn’t do it in the cold, rough Channel,” he said. “But when I read an advert at the pool that they were seeking volunteers to ‘Swim the Channel’ for the charity Aspire, which helps people with spinal injuries, I just had to do it.”
Swimming isn’t his number one sport – hand-cycling is. But he started swimming again just a year ago and now he’s taking it ultra-seriously in order to raise cash for Aspire. His modest target was £250, but he has £400 now and wants that raised to £500. So he is after YOUR money.
David was injured in a motorcycle accident when he was 19 and had ambitions to make it in building, architecture and engineering. He worked for Sinton’s of Tandragee. His spine was crushed and he was in hospital for 12 weeks
But rather than let it spoil his life, he continued his studies and achieved an HND in Building Engineering, followed by a Degree in Architectural Technology and Management, and took up sport.
In the cycling field, he has competed in countries as diverse as Dubai, UAE, France, Italy, Spain and all over Ireland, using his considerable arm strength. He has circumvented Lough Neagh (85 miles) and has done the Bangor-Portaferry Coastal Return Challenge (70 miles).
In order to donate, visit www.aspire.org.uk or go to David’s website http://www.aspirechannelswim.co.uk. It’s all in a good cause.