Gay team to swim English Channel for charity

Out To Swim members will swim from Dover to Calais to raise money for Central London Samaritans

Gay team to swim English Channel for charity
24 June 2012 Print This Article

A gay and lesbian relay team will be swimming the 21 miles of the English Channel for charity this week.

Six members of British club Out To Swim will plunge into the 14 degree waters off the coast of England, swimming one by one for an hour at a time, before reaching Calais in France.

They will be doing this task in the aim of raising money for the Central London Samaritans, a charity that provides confidential emotional support for anyone experiencing feelings of distress or despair, which can lead to suicide.

All experienced swimmers, the six gay men and women have trained for months to be able to withstand the ice cold temperatures and marathon distance.

Gareth Johnson, president of the swimming club, told Gay Star News it is the biggest and toughest challenge any of them have had to date.

He said: ‘The team will be swimming through the night which is often the hardest bit, swimming through pitch black water with only a torch or a boat next to them.

‘So, it’s quite an enormous mental challenge as it is a physical challenge.’

The team has been given a window from Monday to Friday to complete the swim, and with weather on their side it should be Thursday (28 June). They will be given 24 hours’ notice before they know the day.

Replicating the conditions of the water has been the hardest bit of training, with the team taking day trips to Dover or Brighton to build up endurance.

Johnson said: ‘There are a quite a few aspects to this swim which makes it one of the toughest there is.

‘It’s the cold water, it’s the distance, it’s the mental challenge, it’s swimming at night in the dark, and it will be a real sense of achievement once it’s done.’

If you would like to donate or find out more information, click here.  

HAVE YOUR SAY

OTHER POSTS

No thumbnail available

Gay NBA player Jason Collins tweets thanks for outpouring of support

'I knew that I was choosing the road less traveled but I'm not walking it alone'
No thumbnail available

Record-breaking numbers support marriage equality bill in Australia

Advocates say at least 45,000 submissions in favour of same-sex marriage were submitted to senate inquiry
No thumbnail available

Rugby star Gareth Thomas for Big Brother

Gay rugby star Gareth Thomas set to enter British Celebrity Big Brother house
No thumbnail available

Majority of Americans agree nationwide same-sex marriage is inevitable

New polling by a Christian group has shown that 64 percent of Americans now believe same-sex marriage to be inevitable, country-wide, while 58 percent now agree that the issue is a civil rights issue akin to race or gender
No thumbnail available

Robbie Rogers: Other gay footballers are too terrified to come out

Openly gay soccer pro has said he has not been contacted by any gay closeted footballers since coming out of the closet in February
No thumbnail available

Neil Patrick Harris says he got 'Jared Leto manorexic' to star in 'Hedwig and the Angry Inch'

Actor lost 20 pounds and also undergoes nearly two hours of make-up to become transgender punk rock singer in Broadway show
No thumbnail available

Queer as Folk alum Gale Harold to play gay again in new indie film Kiss Me, Kill Me

Movie is Alfred Hitchcock/Agatha Christie-style whodunit set in West Hollywood
No thumbnail available

US Senate committee advances long-stalled Employment Non Discrimination Act

ENDA still faces tough fight to achieve full Senate passage
No thumbnail available

Good Morning America's Sam Champion marries Rubem Robierb in NYC

A recuperating Robin Roberts reads poem at ceremony
No thumbnail available

ABC cancels controversial cross-dressing sitcom

Network yanks 'Work It' after just two airings