Athlone RSC members swim over 7000 KM in aid Pieta House
175 swimmers took part in the recent Channel Swim Challenge organised at Athlone RSC, where they were challenged to swim the length of the Channel – Dover to Calais, a distance of 32km, or 64km return trip. And many did complete the round trip, with several intrepid swimmers pushing on to swim over 100km, three crossings or even 200km, six crossings.
The initiative was organised by the ‘Swim for Life’ team at the RSC to provide an opportunity for active swimmers to target a specific goal, with expert tuition, lane coaching and support provided along the way.
“The Channel is the Everest of swimming”, described the Centre’s Swim Co-ordinator Charlie Naughton, “and many of our swimmers have successfully completed the ascent a few times over now!”.
Many participants raised funds through sponsorship of their swims, which took on average 10 weeks to complete, since the Challenge launch on November 7th. Swimming an average of 200+ lengths a week, every week over 10 weeks, the Challengers succeeded in raising over €9000 for Pieta House, between individual fundraising and a contribution from the Centre itself.
“Swimming can have a massive impact on wellbeing” commented Charlie Naughton, “And we would point to its benefits for cardio fitness, strength and flexibility but also its positive impact on mental health. As such we are delighted to spearhead the development of swimming in the region, and to support the expansion of the hugely important service Pieta House offers”.
As a group the Challengers covered the distance from Ireland across the Atlantic to Caracas Venezuela – an achievement marked at the Challenge finale in the Athlone RSC on Sunday 29th January, complete with tricolours and wine & cheese reception wishing the participants ‘bien venu to Calais’!