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Doncaster grandad is making a big splash for Sheffield hospital charity

Brian Jowett, of Askern is doing a sponsered swim to raise money for the Sheffield Children's Hospital where his grandson Reuben Bennett, four, was being treated. Picture: Andrew Roe

Brian Jowett, of Askern is doing a sponsered swim to raise money for the Sheffield Children's Hospital where his grandson Reuben Bennett, four, was being treated. Picture: Andrew Roe

A sporting grandad is all set to make a splash by going to great lengths - quite literally - for charity.

Brian Jowett, aged 53, has challenged himself to complete a gruelling five-hour sponsored swim at Askern Leisure Centre in aid of Sheffield Children’s Hospital Charity next month.

And he’s taking the plunge in aid of his beloved grandson Reuben Bennett who received specialist treatment at the hospital two years ago.

He said: “I’ve chosen to fundraise for the charity in order to say thank you and give something back.”

He is hoping to raise at least £500 by continually swimming lengths... for five hours.

Doncaster Culture and Leisure Trust, which operates Askern Leisure Centre, is supporting Brian in his fundraising efforts by providing free access to the swimming pool at Askern while he undertakes daily training for the challenge.

Brian said: “I have always enjoyed fitness and originally I wanted to do a triathlon but I have had a knee replacement so I decided on the sponsored swim.

“I have been building up my stamina and I am already up to two hours of continuous swimming, so by March 29 I should be in peak condition to complete the challenge. My family and I can’t thank the staff at Sheffield Children’s Hospital enough for everything they did for Reuben – their specialist care and treatment really did save his life – so it is an honour to be fundraising for them.

“All my family and friends have been very supportive and will be poolside on the day cheering me on and hopefully digging deep in their pockets for such a worthy cause. I would like to say a big thank you to Askern Leisure Centre and DCLT for allowing me to use their facilities free of charge.

“I think it will be quite a mental challenge for me as well as physical with the repetitiveness of the lengths, but I am very determined and I am already planning another challenge once I have completed this one!”

Kraig Kelly, head of leisure at DCLT, said: “It is a pleasure to be supporting Brian for his sponsored swim. I am delighted he is using our facilities at Askern.

“We wish him all the best and hope he raises as much money as possible for such a great cause.”

When swimmers go to great lengths for a worthy cause

Brian will be in good company when he undertakes his five-hour swimming challenge on March 29.

Making the headlines recently for her efforts in the water was TV presenter Davina McCall, who completed a 500 mile challenge in aid of Sport Relief which included seven days of swimming, running and cycling and saw her pulled exhausted from Lake Windermere following a 1.5 mile swim.

Fellow television star David Walliams, also a keen swimmer, raised more than £1 million for charity in 2011 when he completed a 140-mile swim along the length of the River Thames.

And in 2006, the Little Britain star also swam the English Channel between Britain and France.

 

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