Ethan and Oliver to ‘swim the Channel’

Two Coleraine ten-year-olds have undertaken the mammoth task of swimming the Channel in lengths in their swimming pool to raise money for charity.

Thursday, 16th May 2019, 5:48 pm

A commendable effort indeed but when you take into account the fact that the boys have limited movement from the waist down, it makes the challenge quite remarkable.

Friends Oliver Dickey and Ethan Pollock are members of Signature Swimming Club and started lessons with teacher Sindy Stewart about three years ago.

Oliver, who has cerebral palsy, and Ethan, who has spina bifida, decided to undertake the 22 mile challenge to raise funds for the Northern Ireland Children to Lapland Trust as they have both enjoyed Christmas trips there thanks to the charity.

Tutor Sindy explained: “The boys used to swim with me in the Bushtown pool but then I moved them up to the big pool in Coleraine Grammar School to improve their stamina.

“They progressed to swimming 20 lengths in half an hour which is quite a feat given their limited movement. The boys will swim every Wednesday night beginning at 7.30pm and it will probably take until Christmas to complete the challenge. They started last week and will have to 22 miles or over 1400 lengths!

“We are now asking people to come along each Wednesday to count the laps and generally encourage the boys in their swimming. You don’t need to be a sports coach or even a swimmer - just someone who is prepared to count the lengths and motivate and support the boys.”

After reading this story, some volunteers did come forward but the boys still need more ‘counters’ and encouragers!

Ethan and Oliver with teacher Sindy Stewart (left) and Yvonne Hegarty of the NI Children to Lapland Trust (right).

If you can help call 07500 872118 or donate via Sindy Stewart’s JustGiving page.