Siena, 7, to tackle 3k swim in Den­ton in aid of Bar­nado’s

Tameside Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - Abigail O’Leary

ACHAR­I­TA­BLE lit­tle girl is tak­ing on a marathon swim­ming chal­lenge in or­der to help other chil­dren in need of help and sup­port.

Siena Oxby, from Den­ton, de­cided to take her love for swim­ming to the next level, and use her skills in the wa­ter to raise money for Barnardo’s.

And the big-hearted seven-year-old is cer­tainly set­ting the bar high and will be tack­ling a 3km swim to­day, which means 120 gru­elling lengths of a full-sized swim­ming pool.

But de­spite years of swim­ming lessons, Siena will be un­der in­creased pres­sure as of­fi­cial chal­lenge rules say she won’t be al­lowed to touch the sides or let her feet touch the floor for the en­tire 20 lengths - and will have to tread wa­ter when­ever she needs a well-de­served drink.

Her mum Toni said: “Her brother Ge­orge swam 5k for Barnardo’s last year, and when she saw him do that she wanted to have a go her­self.

“She’s re­ally sporty, and has been swim­ming since she was about four. She also plays foot­ball, does gym­nas­tics as well as ballet and tap danc­ing. She loves drama too.

“And af­ter see­ing Ge­orge do his swim, she turned to me and said ‘When’s my turn?’.”

As well as rais­ing money for Barnar­dos chidl­ren’s char­ity, Siena will be tack­ling the epic swim in mem­ory of her gran who passed away in 2011. Siena’s grand­mother Teresa Ver­i­tiero grew up beg­ging on the streets of Italy, and the Oxby fam­ily think if a char­ity like Barnardo’s had been around at the time, she would have had a health­ier start to life.

Toni, 39, said: “My mother grew up in Italy in a very poor area and had to beg on the streets. She also lost her par­ents at a very young age.

“She came to the UK when she was in her twen­ties, and met my fa­ther here.

“But she was only 64 when she died, and we think things could have been dif­fer­ent if she had a bet­ter child­hood and some help out of poverty.”

Toni is also train­ing for the Lon­don marathon and thinks that show­ing her chil­dren some things take hard work and you can’t quit when it gets hard, has played a big part in en­cour­ag­ing Siena and Ge­orge to take on the chal­lenges.

She added: “I think she sees me train­ing for the marathon, and that way of think­ing then rubs off on her, as well as Ge­orge. It tells them that you some­times have to work hard to get where you want.”


l● Siena Oxby, 7, is do­ing a char­ity swim for Barnardo’s - her mum says she has been in­spired to help oth­ers by her gran’s tough life beg­ging on the streets in Italy

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