Wheelchair user David Kerr is a difficult man to keep up with. A couple of weeks ago, he became the Ulster Time Trial Champion in his trusty hand-propelled cycle. And right now he’s is the middle of a cyber-swim of the English Channel – all 22 miles from Dover to Calais.
Except that he’s doing it at Portadown Swimming Pool (Cascades) thanks to the magic of computerisation!
He started the 12-week project a fortnight ago, is doing 25 lengths of the pool every day, five days a week, and today (Friday), by David’s reckoning, it will have translated, via the website, into about 22 per cent of the distance between the two Channel ports.
Said David (31), “Of course, I couldn’t do it in the cold, rough Channel (and with all those jellyfish). 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.”
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 in the early stages he has already double that and is appealing for YOUR donations, dear reader.
David, who lives independently in the Killicomaine area, 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 done the Bangor-Portaferry Coastal Return Challenge (70 miles).
Visit www.aspire.org.uk or go to David’s website http://www.aspirechannelswim.co.uk/davidschannelswimDavid’s German-made cycle has 27 gears, and he admits to being something of a fanatic as he whizzes at speeds up to 35mph.