Chris’s Channel Swim Challenge

Posted on Nov 16, 2014 in Blog

From fixing computers to front crawl, IT analyst Chris will be swimming the length of the Channel.

Here at ETX Capital, it’s not just our adventurous CEO who is undertaking an impressive challenge in the name of charity (check out Andrew’s ETX Challenge), but also our Senior IT Support Analyst Chris Curtis. In just a few weeks’ time Chris will be taking part in the Aspire Channel Swim Challenge, which will involve swimming the equivalent length of the Channel in just five days. The English Channel is 22 miles long; this means that he will be swimming around 4.5 miles a day consecutively, which is between 2 and a half and 3 hours each day.

The challenge is part of the initiative organised by Aspire, a charity which provides valuable support to sufferers of spinal cord injuries in the form of grants, equipment, and specialist technology amongst other things. In the UK, someone sustains a spinal cord injury every 8 hours. Such injuries are impossible to prepare for and are often very difficult to recover from. Every year, thousands of people rely on the support and guidance of charities like Aspire to help them to live happily and independently.

Chris had been dealing with spinal problems himself for over a decade, after suffering a serious rugby injury. He had several operations, with his most major spinal surgery taking place on the 29th October last year. It was a surgery with serious potential risks; 1 in 20 people who undergo the operation suffer from some form of reduced mobility and 1 in 200 suffer from paralysis. Luckily Chris’s surgery was a success and he hasn’t experienced any lasting problems since the operation.

The swimming pool was the place where Chris literally took the biggest steps towards recovery, as this was where he learnt to walk again. He began walking in the pool in January and started swimming again in February, and so this challenge seemed like a fitting opportunity for him to raise money and support others who have not been as lucky as him. Chris had his operation almost exactly a year ago now, and so what better way to mark the occasion than by swimming the length of the Channel?

Chris has been working hard to train for this ambitious challenge, fitting in sessions at the pool either before or after work most days. The longest swim he’s done so far in one go is 9.5 km, so he’s well on his way to success. Participants have 12 weeks to complete the length of the Channel, from September 8th to December 1st. However, Chris has bravely decided to allow himself just the last five days to swim the entire 22 miles.

All of us at ETX have a great deal of admiration for Chris and we’re behind him all the way. So far he’s managed to raise £390, but he’s hoping to raise £1,000 to donate to this fantastic cause.

If you would like to support Chris and the Aspire charity, please sponsor him here:

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