We were approached about an incredible boy called Benjamin and just had to share his story! Benjamin is 8 years-old and is swimming the length of the River Trent within 6 months to raise money for When You Wish Upon A Star, a charity whose aim is to grant the wishes of children between the ages of 2 - 16 years old living with life threatening illnesses.
We asked Benjamin a few questions about this fantastic challenge.
So Benjamin, what made you decide to swim an amazing 185 miles? "I decided on swimming the 185 mile River Trent challenge as I wanted something bigger than last year's 21 miles and I wanted to push myself and have a reason to go to the swimming pool."
Your swims began a few months ago, how far have you swum so far? "I am at 75 miles so far and swimming most days. On 1st August I swam a mile an hour for 5 hours."
Wow, great job! Where have you been doing your swims, have any friends or family been joining you? "I swim at Hucknall Leisure Centre most of the time and my mummy swims with me in the morning and daddy when he's not at work. My swimming coach Marine is always there for me too."
Your last few miles will be in open water, have you swum in open water before? "I am very excited to go into the open water. I have done a little open water swimming with my triathlon club I came 1st in my open water triathlon. This will be a lot harder though."
Congratulations! You must really enjoy swimming; do you see yourself as a swimmer when you’re older? "I love swimming as it helps me with all my other sports also and I find it relaxing. I would love to be a swimmer or footballer when I'm older."
Do you think you’ll set yourself more swimming challenges in the future? "In the future I will set more challenges as I want to push myself into being better. But I think we will have a year off and I'm going to join a swimming club and swim competitive for a while. A lot of open water events I can’t do until 11 years old so have a few years to wait."
Last year Benjamin won young swimmer of the year GOLD Award in the ASA Swimtastic Awards, and has just been nominated for a Young Achiever Award in the Nottingham Evening Post Hero Awards. On the 22nd – 23rd August Benjamin and a few friends will be tackling the 21 mile English Channel distance in a relay in the pool at Lammas Leisure Centre in Ashfield.
Benjamin is close to his fundraising target, so we invite you to support Benjamin and this great cause via his fundraising page here and hopefully we can help this incredible young man change lives!