A young pupil from Tring Park School for the Performing Arts has become the leading fundraiser for Aspire’s annual swimming challenge, the Aspire Channel Swim.  

Eleven-year-old Alexandra Gibbon has been taking part in the Aspire Channel Swim, which encourages swimmers of all ages to “swim the channel” in their local pool. The challenge involved swimming 22 miles in 12 weeks whilst raising funds for Aspire.

Alexandra, who swam twice a week at the pool at Tring Sportspace from 22 January to 8 February, one of which was a 6am swim, has raised a record £8,652 for Aspire, which makes her the charity’s top fundraiser for the event.

Alexandra visited the Aspire Leisure Centre in Stanmore last week with fellow Tring Park pupils, Katerina Jones and Emily Loveday, also aged 11, who also took part in the challenge.  The three Tring Park pupils met Brian Carlin, Aspire’s CEO, who gave them a tour of the Aspire Leisure Centre. 

Alexandra Gibbon with Brian Carlin

The girls also received wheelchair skills and wheelchair basketball training from Joe Gilbert, who has worked at Aspire for over 20 years. 

Joe Gilbert teaching wheelchair skills

Talking about her visit to the Aspire Leisure Centre to see how the money she raised will benefit the charity, Alexandra said: “I had an amazing day. I feel so lucky to have been able to use my body to raise so much money for people who have lost the use of part of theirs, and I hope my experience will motivate other young people like me do something like this, I promise you it feels amazing.”

Stefan Anderson, principal at Tring Park School of Performing Arts, said: “All of the staff at Tring Park are so proud of the money that Alexandra has raised, and it was great to hear about her visit to the Aspire Leisure Centre with fellow fundraisers Katerina and Emily. It’s an immense achievement.”

Brian Carlin, Aspire’s CEO, said: “I was delighted to be able to meet Alexandra and thank her personally for her fantastic swimming and fundraising efforts.  It was a pleasure to welcome her to Aspire and to be able to show her firsthand how the significant amount of money she has raised will be used to support spinal injured people around the UK.”

To donate to Alexandra’s Swim the Channel challenge, go to www.justgiving.com/alex-gibbon 

Click here to register for the 2016 Aspire Channel Swim.