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Swimathon Ambassadors

Dawn Broadbent

Distance: 5k 

Swimming level: Advanced 

Bio: Hello! I’m so excited to finally be committing to Swimathon this year. I intend to swim the mighty 5k swim! I currently train four times a week, and usually complete anywhere between 2-3k a session. So, it’s going to be a quite a step up for me but I wanted a distance that will challenge me. I’m two weeks into a new training plan and have already achieved 3.8k in one of my swims, so I’m feeling optimistic! 

I’m also very much looking forward to being an Ambassador for Swimathon! I wanted to be an Ambassador in order to truly immerse myself in the whole experience and get to know others who have just as much passion for swimming and are bursting with drive and ambition. I believe it will be a fantastic and memorable experience. I’m ready and got my game face on! 

Follow Dawn's Swimathon story on her Twitter.

Esther Chambers

Distance: 100k

Swimming level: Advanced

Bio: By being a Swimathon Ambassador I’m hoping to encourage others to challenge themselves – whatever distance that might be. If you chip away at it, and swim a little bit further each time, you’ll surprise yourself by what you can achieve! I still remember when I struggled to swim a length of front crawl. Once I’d figured out it’s easier if you don’t hold your breath, I grew to love it - life always seems better after a swim! I participated in my first Swimathon nearly twenty years ago. Since then I’ve tried to challenge myself a little bit more each year – either by swimming faster, or a longer distance, or more than one Swimathon. I live in Cambridge, with my husband and my ten-year-old son. This year I’m planning to swim two 5k Swimathons a day for ten consecutive days in various pools in and around Cambridge – 100k in total.

Follow Esther's Swimathon story on her Twitter.

Paige Gallagher

Distance: Triple 5k

Swimming level: Intermediate

Bio: Hi everyone, my name is Paige and I'm 13 year's old. The next Swimathon will be my third, fourth and fifth 5k and I'm so proud to have been chosen to be an Ambassador. I lost an auntie to cancer and another lost a kidney to cancer, so raising money for such amazing causes is very close to my heart. I'm a water baby really as I dive for my local squad Plymouth Diving, at Plymouth Life Centre and love to swim. I really feel at home in the water and the exercise helps me to clear my head if I've had a busy day. My school has been very supportive of my extra curricular sports and are allowing me to promote Swimathon with my peers. So watch this space for more entrants! I look forward to sharing more with you all.

Samantha Perrott

Distance: 5k

Swimming level: Intermediate

Bio: I am a very keen runner and Chair of a community running club in Neath South Wales and I enjoy long distance trail racing and social group running. We encourage all abilities to come along and have a go. It's exactly the same idea with the swimming, a sport literally everybody can get involved with. Recently I have pursued an interest in expanding my swimming skills. I have always swam a little bit for cross training purposes or with my kids, but since the beginning of 2018 I wanted to try and push myself more with my swimming as I have been loving it. 

I have started testing myself with a little bit of open water swimming and cannot wait for the spring to get the light back for after work sea swims. Swimming is a sport that everybody can do and this is what makes Swimathon fantastic for every ability from the beginner to the experienced. I have set myself the challenge for the March Swimathon to hit the 5k target for the first time and I am looking forward to encouraging others to join in on the  challenge from 400m-5k.

Stephen Morrison

Distance: 5k

Swimming level: Advanced

Bio: I am Stephen Morrison, a champion for sport for all, and blogger at from Glasgow. Swimming was always an activity that I avoided. Not because I was afraid of the water, but because I couldn't swim and because I was afraid of what people might say or how they might look at me. For I am a plus sized try athlete and until Swimathon last year, swimming was an activity that I tried to avoid. However, I wanted to challenge myself and leave my comfort zones and with the support of my fellow Swimathon Ambassadors and participants all over the UK, I managed to swim 2.5km front crawl. This year, I am going for the 5k at Lifestyle Eastfield and I want to show that everyone can swim.

Follow Stephen's Swimathon story on his Twitter and Instagram.

Sue Wilson

Distance: 5k

Swimming level: Intermediate

Bio: Hi, I’m Sue. I live in New Malden and swim in my local pool, at the Malden Centre. I’ve always had a love of the water, but haven’t really done any serious swimming over the recent years – just messing around in the water with my kids. I work at the leisure centre where I’m doing the Swimathon and in January 2018 I was invited to join my colleagues on a Malden Centre Team Swimathon entry. With some apprehension I said I would – it’s hard enough getting into your cossie in front of your work colleagues – but when you are at least 20 years older and more than a few pounds heavier than everyone, it is more of challenge! Four of us completed the team swim and immediately afterwards I promised myself I would complete the 5k on my own next time – and so began my year of training. Nine months on and I’m swimming 3-5 times a week. Gradually building up to the mammoth 200 lengths.

I’ve lost over 2 stone in weight and feel fitter and healthier than I’ve felt in a long time. I started the year only able to swim 20 lengths in one go and finished with a 150 length swim during the Christmas holidays. 

This is a very personal journey for me as I’ve never completed such a physical challenge before, I wanted to be an Ambassador to tell people that you don’t need to be a pro to attempt something like this – anyone can have a go whatever your fitness and whatever distance you choose – just get in the water and start swimming!

Follow Sue's Swimathon story on her Twitter and Instagram.

Tamsyn Smith

Distance: 2.5k

Swimming level: Intermediate

Bio: As Duncan Goodhew once said to me: "Learning English at school is important, but unlike swimming, it will never save your life!". I only learned to swim 5 years ago, so despite already having completed triathlons, my swimming technique is bad. I like having a goal as a great way to swim regularly, so I’ve set myself the target to improve my technique by completing the 2500m challenge in the Swimathon. My father died of cancer and was supported by Marie Curie nurses during his illness, so the charity is close to my heart and Swimathon is a great event to support it. Also, I’m a mum and work full-time, and I want to show that it’s possible to fit swimming in my busy life.

Follow Tamsyn's Swimathon story on Twitter and on her blog.

Tom Chapman

Distance: 45k

Swimming level: Advanced

Bio: I live a stones throw from the beach in the sunny seaside town of Porthcawl, South Wales. Almost every day I’m in the water somewhere; the sea, river, the pond or the pool! The last few years I have hit Swimathon pretty hard for some great early season pool training! 2019 is a big year for me, culminating in a English channel solo…so I’m keen to push the pool work in the winter and test myself against the triple 5! I’m really lucky that my local pools have Swimathon sessions on three consecutive weekends so I have a great opportunity to swim quite a few sessions in quite a few pools, with quite a few people! Really looking forward to it!

Follow Tom's Swimathon story on his blog.

Wanda Stockdale 

Distance: Triple 5k

Swimming level: Advanced

Bio: 2019 will be the fourth year I have taken part, in Swimathon. My swimming journey, started in 2015. I worked, on a ward, as a staff nurse, like many of my colleagues I experienced backache. It was only after, I changed jobs, to a less physically demanding one and the pain continued, that I sought advice. It was to transpire, that the many years of  “moving and handling”, had left me with permanent muscle and nerve damage, in my back. My physiotherapist’s advised that I took up swimming.

I wasn’t able to swim, aside from splashing up with pool, with my head up, as I was too nervous to put my face in the water. So I signed up for swimming lessons, it was to prove to be one of the best things I ever did.

In 2016, I signed up for my first Swimathon, swimming 1.5km, the following year I completed 2.5k. Last year I took part in the 400m, 1.5k and 2.5k events. I also undertook a 600m MySwimathon making it 5k over the weekend. This year I am partaking in the Triple 5k challenge. This is the fulfilment of a personal challenge and goal.

In 2013 I decided to partake in the Great North Run 2014, totally ignoring the fact I couldn’t run, but I wanted to complete a “half marathon”. However, after speaking to number of people, it became evident, that it would not be a particularly good idea, owing not just to my back problems, but also my arthritis and asthma (which is diagnosed as severe). I gave up on that idea. However, on commencing swimming lessons, I learnt that 5k is commonly referred to a “half marathon” in swimming terms. This became my new “ultimate goal”. I may not be able to run a half marathon, instead I am going to swim one. This year, 2019, I plan to achieve that goal three times, by partaking in the Triple 5k.

Follow Wanda's Swimathon story on Twitter and on her blog.