Wiltshire Publications

Across the channel and back again for Westbury swimmers

WESTBURY Swimming Club members collectively swam over twice the distance of the English channel at a sponsored swim last week.

The event served a two- fold purpose of raising vital funds to ensure the club’s survival, and commemorating longstanding member Jon Sims, who died from a brain tumour in March this year aged 25.
A quarter of the proceeds from the event, which took place on Wednesday and Thursday last week, were donated to The Dorothy House Foundation which supported Jon during his illness.

Committee member Neil Tribick said, “Jon was with the club from being a young lad to a grown man, so he would have been very much behind it. We know that his parents and his widow would have been pleased that we are remembering him in this way.”
Neil said that the event had been a great success and he was confident that the club would reach its target of raising £1,000.
He said, “We swam to France, swam back again and by the time that time ran out, we were about 8 miles back the other way again so they did remarkably well!
“We are very pleased with what was achieved. Even the little ones were doing 30 and 40 widths. They were really enthusiastic and got the bit between their teeth.”
The event involved around three hours of swimming, with three individuals managing to swim 160 lengths.
After the Dorothy House donation, the remainder of the funds raised will be put towards the ongoing costs of running the 100-strong club which was founded in 1897 and is the longest running in the country.
Neil said, “We’ve got everything going in the right direction now and the money that we raise from this will go towards providing extra equipment, more specialised teaching to improve standards and keep taking the children forward.
“There’s been a lot of activity on the last few months and the levels of enthusiasm from the swimmers has gone up and up and up which is exactly what we sat down to do.”
After a campaign to increase membership was started earlier in the year, the club has seen its ranks swell by 50%. Neil said that increased membership was having a very positive effect on the club and could only aid in its progress.