The North Channel
The North Channel is a body of water that lies between Northern Ireland and Scotland. Considered by many to be the ‘ultimate long distance challenge’, the swim across this channel presents unique challenges even from the other big ocean swims through the highly variable conditions (which can include strong winds and wave heights in excess of 2 metres), extremely cold water, blooms of sea-life (most notably jellyfish) as well as the high stream of shipping traffic it accommodates on a daily basis. The first successful swim was completed in 1947 and since this time there have only ever been 22 other successful solo swims. Only one Australian has completed it.
Somewhere during the time from 5 – 8 September this year (the exact date will be chosen by my pilot, Quinton Nelson) I will be attempting this swim from Donaghadee in Northern Ireland to the Mull of Galloway in Scotland, and in doing so will be embarking on the biggest challenge of my life.
As some of you may be aware, in 2013 after a titanic struggle, I managed to successfully complete the English Channel. When I tell people that I will be attempting the Northern Channel swim, one which is considerably more taxing, I get asked a lot why the hell would I want to do this?
Well the answer is simple; I am lucky enough to have an extremely fortunate life and by putting myself in an incredibly uncomfortable position, even for just a moment in time, I hope that I can raise awareness and money for those that really need help.
As such, through my swim, I am hoping to raise awareness for ‘The Network of Callan Services for Persons with Disabilities’. Callan Services is a not-for-profit organisation that was established by the Christian Brothers in Papua New Guinea in 1991. Br Graeme Leach pioneered the service in Wewak on the northwest coast of Papua New Guinea for the education of children with disabilities.
The money that I am able to raise will go to the support and infrastructure of services that we take for granted every day here in Australia. Their mission is to raise awareness of disability issues, preventative education, screening and testing for early identification of disability in particular in remote areas, provision of sight, hearing and mobility aids and the training and education of teachers in special education.
This is a cause very close to my heart. I have lived my whole life with my beautiful aunty Lou who was born with a disability. Lou has been fortunate to have had the care and opportunities that anyone with or without a disability deserves. And this is exactly what Callan services attempts to do - provide those with disabilities the best opportunities to succeed in life.
Any support for this amazing cause will be greatly appreciated.
Below I have attached two websites that give information both on my swim and Callan Services.
The funds gained from the swim will be given to the Edmund Rice Foundation, who will distribute the money to Callan Services. Any information on this can be gained through the contact details given below.
Phone: +61 3 8359 0115
Fax: +61 3 8359 0137