Tony Marshall is happy wild swimming to France for charity.
He is swimming solo across the English Channel for Little Havens Children’s Hospice.
Support his worthwhile cause by donating to his JustGiving page here:
Raising money for
Charity Registration No. 1022119
When a family has been told that there’s no cure for their child’s illness, Little Havens Hospice can help. Our specialist care is free but we have to raise £100,000 every week to be there for everyone who needs us. That’s only possible because of you. Together we’re ‘Making every day count’
Well, what can I say. This time last year, I was in a totally different place. I am a member of the Redcaps Open Water Swimming Club and loved nothing better than to socialise and swim with my best mate Tony Mellett. We covered all sorts of swim events together and took part at every opportunity. But then on 1st May 2014, sadly, he collapsed and died. No warning, no illness, just collapsed and died. Things like this are not supposed to happen to my mates.
My mind has been a bit of a whirl-wind since then. I distanced myself from the club a bit and seemed lost without my sole-mate.
In 2013, Tony Mellett and myself were part of a relay team that got within a cats whisker to French soil, but then we had to abandon the mission due to bad weather. The team, minus my soul mate, got together in 2014 and this time, we had to do it for Tony. And we did.
But I always secretly had a yearning to attempt this enormous challenge solo one day. And now seems as good a time as any. I have devoted a whole year to training and am currently being pushed to extremes by my coach and Redcaps Lady Captain, Lorraine Rate. She sets all my sessions for me on a weekly basis, and swims with me once a week to ensure I’m on track. I hate her most of the time coz the sessions hurt like hell, but at least I don’t have to worry about what to do next. I just wait for my Monday email and follow instructions!!!!
Anyway, back to my challenge. Having been part of two relay crossings and having been fortunate to be part of Tom Durhsens boat crew last year, I know exactly what I have let myself in for. ‘The Mistress’ as the English Channel is often referred to by solo swimmers can be evil. (A bit like Lorraine!). She can turn on you without warning and if she decides she ain’t letting you across that channel, then that’s it. She turns and churns and spits you out – definately like Lorraine!! And, as Tom found out only too well on his crossing when at one point, he had swum strong and solid for over an hour but only moved forward a few metres. Evil bitch is that Channel Mistress. So, I am fully aware of what I have let myself in for.
Lorraine and I took a tour of Little Havens recently and whilst we all know what Little Havens is, until you walk around that beautiful establishment in Benfleet and come close to all those little suffering children, it doesn’t really sink home. I want to make a difference to someone, I want to help, I want to contribute. We were taken into the Woodland Suite, where they take the children to die peacefully. They decorate the room each time in association with what that child loved best. We visited on a day when a small boy, who had been a huge West Ham fan, had just passed away. Emma explained how the room was decorated in all West Ham colours and posters to make his final days so much more relaxing for him and his family. There were children curled up in blankets on the sofa watching Disney’s Frozen. How we got through that day without tears, I do not know. So, this is why I have to swim to France. I want to make a contribution to Little Havens and help make a difference to a child’s final journey.
So, if you could donate a little to my cause, I would be so grateful. Any amount at all, every little bit helps.
Thanks for taking the time to visit my JustGiving page.
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