, (PressExposure) July 11, 2008 -- Bury Grammar School pupil, Heather Sellars, will swim the English Channel in September 2008 to raise money for her chosen charity of Leukaemia Research. Heather, 17, of Ramsbottom, has been a keen and talented swimmer since she was 10 years old and is a member of Ramsbottom Swimming Club.
Heather is raising money for Leukaemia Research, in memory of her Grandfather who died of the terrible disease. She is also taking part in World Challenge Expedition trip to China in the autumn, where she and her classmates will be working to improve the living conditions of Chinese orphans. Additionally, she is very keen to raise the profile of her school, to bring great credit and distinction on BGS. She is on an intense programme to ensure she is ready for the challenge ahead, involving training 4 evenings a week around the local facilities.
Heather said, âMy preparation has included swims across Coniston Lake, building up to completing 12 miles across Lake Windermere. I will be relocating to stay with my grandmother in Kent during the school holidays to continue my training in the Channel.â
For her channel swim, she will be attracting business sponsorship and will be seeking individual sponsors and donations.
Miss Sellars added, âAt Bury Grammar, I have found a real love for sport and was thrilled to represent my school in the National Schools Swimming Competition. For every stroke I take I will be thinking about the three things that matter so much to me - my Granddad, the benefits I can bring to Chinese orphans and for the prestigious name of my school.â
Former Rochdale MP, Sir Cyril Smith, said, âI know Bury Grammar School very well and am delighted to be a Patron of their Appeal. Heather displays the characteristics of many of their Sixth Form Students; she is prepared to set herself a very difficult challenge and tackle it with determination and enthusiasm. I wish her every successâ.
There are a lot of factors that combine to make the swim hard, but the cold is a major hurdle. The wind and weather are also a problem, since the Dover Straits are prone to local weather conditions that can change very quickly and which do not match the forecasts. There is also the problem of the number of ships using these waters and Heather will be swimming across notoriously busy shipping lanes. All these factors, combined with the risk of jellyfish, porpoises, oil slicks and seaweed, make this one of the world's hardest swims. Heatherâs swim buddy and sports teacher, Miss Nicholson, will join her in the water for one hour at a time for encouragement. She said, âHeather will be in outstanding condition and it is my job to ensure she is determined, focused and utterly committed.â
The standard Channel crossing is a minimum of 20 nautical miles, but strong tides which change direction every six hours cause swimmers to cover 30 to 35 miles, taking most between 12 to 16 hours. Despite the increasing number of hopeful swimmers each year, twice as many people have successfully climbed Everest than have swum the Channel (665 since records started in 1927). Under International rules, swimmers are only allowed to wear goggles, swimsuits (not wetsuits) and grease. All swimmers (and escorts) have to take their passports!
For further information, photographs and interview opportunities, please contact:
Francine Healey, Development Officer, Bury Grammar School, Tenterden Street, BURY, Lancashire, BL9 0HN, Tel: 0161 764 1733, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Websites: [http://www.justgiving.co.uk/] and http://www.bgsdev.co.uk Press Release Distribution By PressReleasePoint