Swim­mers make a splash for char­ity

The Oban Times - - Sport -

BRAVE swim­mers braced the cold wa­ters off Oban Bay on Satur­day mak­ing a splash for char­ity in the Ker­rera to Oban spon­sored swim.

The jour­ney is half a mile long, mea­sured from the Oban sail­ing club slip­way to the ad­ja­cent slip­way on Ker­rera.

Now in its fourth year, the Is­land of Ker­rera to Oban Spon­sored Swim is run ev­ery sum­mer to raise funds for youth de­vel­op­ment in sport.

Donna Smith, who is a youth de­vel­op­ment worker in sport at At­lantis leisure cen­tre, has or­gan­ised the event for the past three years.

She said: ‘This year, once again, there’s been a fan­tas­tic turnout. We were ex­pect­ing around 30 peo­ple but more than 50 took part.

‘By rais­ing these funds, it has widened the op­por­tu­ni­ties we can of­fer to young peo­ple to help them hit the ground run­ning and get the best pos­si­ble start in life.

Sup­port ‘In the past year, we have been able to sup­port many young peo­ple on lead­er­ship cour­ses such as out­ward bound ex­pe­di­tions, sail­ing voy­ages with the Ju­bilee sail­ing trust and Tall Ships Youth trust.

‘We have also been able to fund cour­ses for young peo­ple to in­crease their qual­i­fi­ca­tions through First Aid cour­ses, child pro­tec­tion, life­guard cour­ses, sports coach­ing cour­ses and swimming teach­ing.

‘ With­out this sup­port, many of our peo­ple in the com­mu­nity would not get the op­por­tu­nity to show what they can achieve or re­alise their own ca­pac­ity and ac­com­plish things they never imag­ined,’ Donna added.

Diane Kerr, from Oban, was one of the par­tic­i­pants. She said: ‘It was fine, you cli­ma­tise quickly to the wa­ter af­ter a few min­utes. This was my sec­ond time and I’m ob­vi­ously de­lighted to fin­ish.’

Fel­low swim­mer, Sheila McGre­gor, also from Oban said: ‘To be hon­est, it was aw­ful at the be­gin­ning, but I got used to it and I’m re­ally glad I did it.

‘The wa­ter was splash­ing in my face but I strug­gled on. I was glad to do it for such a good cause and I think ev­ery­one who is ca­pa­ble should do it.’

Re­becca Simms, a leisure at­ten­dant at At­lantis, de­cided to take her wet­suit off dur­ing the swim.

She said: ‘The first bit was the worst, but then I got used to it and it wasn’t too bad. Once I was used to the tem­per­a­ture of the wa­ter, the wet­suit was just hin­der­ing me so I just took it off and it was lot eas­ier, I got go­ing that bit quicker. Ev­ery­one helps each other on the way as well, giv­ing each other moral sup­port to get through it.’

Photos: Kevin McG­lynn

SOUP OF THE DAY: De­lighted swim­mers warm-up with cups of hot soup af­ter they had com­pleted the swim

IN THE SWIM: Young Ali­son MacVicar pow­ers ahead in the Ker­rera to

Oban swim to beat her fa­ther, Alex, home to Oban Sail­ing Club

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