On the 29th of January 2018 Becky Horsbrugh will be the first British person to attempt to swim the Bangla Channel in the Bay of Bengal. It's a 16km (10 mile) sea route from Teknaf to the Saint Martin’s Island, in southern Bangladesh. In this post Becky tells us, in her own words, how it came about and what she's hoping to achieve.
Around 50 children drown in Bangladesh every single day. Shocking figure isn't it. So many of us take for granted the fact we can swim and were lucky enough to learn at an early stage. But in many countries, for numerous reasons youngsters never get to learn this life saving skill. I was lucky enough last July to visit a place called Sreepur Village in Bangladesh, which is a British run charity providing refuge for women and their children, and help out with the swim schemes there. I am a qualified swim teacher so used my experience in the UK to help the local coaches.
It was an incredible experience and I returned back to the UK determined to do more to highlight the issue of drowning prevention. I found out there is a famous swim off the south coast of the country, in the Bay of Bengal and after some research decided to try and be the first British person to complete it. It won't be easy - it is a 16km sea swim and will also require a fair bit of travel to get there. I have been a serious swimmer only for around 7 years now but have grown to love the sport. My experience in Bangladesh made me realise there is so much more to swimming though than just having some fun. Swimming is such a vital skill, and even in countries like the UK with all our facilities and knowledge, still a significant proportion of the country cannot swim and people are not that knowledgeable about safety in the water.
I hope my efforts in Bangladesh will go a little way to raising awareness of the importance of supporting swim teaching schemes across the world. I am nervous about the swim as there are so many unknowns but on January the 29th I am giving it a go, and most importantly raising sponsorship with all the money going to the swim schemes being run in the country. It doesn't matter how small any donation is, every single penny or euro or dollar will help. It is also a personal challenge for me, as I have never done anything like this before other than organised open water swims in the UK. However I feel if you don't try, you never know what you are capable of. If my hard work training for this swim and my experience help raise money that will save lives, then it will all be worth it.
Thank you to Becky for taking the time to tell us all about her forthcoming challenge. Please do sponsor her (she's aiming to raise £2,000) and follow her adventures on Twitter. Best of luck Becky, we're looking forward to hearing how you get on.