Stu­dents’ swim for char­ity in­spired by TV show

Yorkshire Post - - EDUCATION ON MONDAY -

STU­DENTS FROM Sh­effield Hal­lam Univer­sity swam the equiv­a­lent of the English Chan­nel to raise aware­ness of men­tal health is­sues.

The group of 60 stu­dents and staff, who are all study­ing sport coach­ing in the Academy of Sport and Phys­i­cal Ac­tiv­ity, were in­spired to take on the chal­lenge by the re­cent Chan­nel 4 se­ries, Sink or Swim.

The pro­gramme saw celebri­ties such as The Last Leg’s co­host Alex Brooker and Coro­na­tion Street star Sair Khan join with ath­letes in­clud­ing Lin­ford Christie and Tessa San­der­son to push them­selves to the lim­its of their abil­ity.

The York­shire group was made up of swim­mers of dif­fer­ing abil­i­ties who be­tween them man­aged to swim more than 44 miles, roughly the length of swim­ming the English Chan­nel and back.

The univer­sity swim, held at Ponds Forge In­ter­na­tional Sports Cen­tre, was in aid of Stu­dent Minds, a char­ity that works with stu­dents, pro­fes­sion­als and aca­demics to de­velop new and in­no­va­tive ways to im­prove the men­tal health of stu­dents.

Janet Vick­ers, a se­nior lec­turer in sport coach­ing and phys­i­cal ed­u­ca­tion, said: “We teach our stu­dents to recog­nise the im­por­tant part that reg­u­lar phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity plays in im­prov­ing men­tal health and re­silience to other dis­eases so to see them take on this daunt­ing chal­lenge is an in­spi­ra­tion to us all.

“The ef­fort our stu­dents and staff put in was tremen­dous. The whole of the group aimed high, sup­ported each other and achieved their goal. They are a credit to the univer­sity.”

Depend­ing on their abil­ity, the num­ber of me­tres swam by in­di­vid­u­als ranged from 100 me­tres to 5km.

Kate Mitchell, the fundrais­ing of­fi­cer at Stu­dent Minds, said: “We are in­cred­i­bly grate­ful the stu­dents and staff chose to sup­port our work with this im­pres­sive and in­clu­sive chal­lenge. The money they have raised will en­able us to em­power more stu­dents and mem­bers of the univer­sity com­mu­nity to look af­ter their own men­tal health, sup­port those around them and cre­ate change.”

ALEX BROOKER: The tele­vi­sion pre­sen­ter in­spired stu­dents to take part in the char­ity swim.

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