I am a young 77 year old and have led a very active life from a young child, competing in swimming championships for my school, city, county, University and the Midland District, and later on in life I qualified as a coach in competitive swimming, triathlons and athletics.

From the age of 30 I competed in triathlons, marathons and ultra marathons which, due to the continuous training and road and trail pounding, I believe has caused injury to my vertebrae and spinal cord and related nerves. I have a Neurological Consultant and I have had full spinal scans and the base of the brain (cerebellum) and awaiting a nerve conduction study test.

Brian standing outside the leisure centre

I have been diagnosed with severe upper vertebrae damage and advised by my consultants to stop road and trail running and cycling and to restrain from diving into the pool. However, I feel very lucky to be able to carry on with my competitive swim training, averaging from 2500m to 4000m each day, five or six times a week, Hopefully after the nerve test I will be allowed to dive into the pool for a racing start so I can compete in Masters swimming competitions.

I am a competitive member of the Dronfield Dolphins and Swim England and do the majority of my swim training at the Queens Park Sports Centre in my home town of Chesterfield and when I’m away I’ll find a local pool, lake or the sea for swimming

I have set my target to swim five or six Aspire Channel Swims, totalling approximately 140 miles. 

My main reasons for swimming relates to fitness and competition, but now it’s one of the few non-weight bearing exercises I am able to do, as well as trail walking every day.

Brian standing looking out to sea

Since retiring from my consultancy business and moving to France 17 years ago, I lost contact with many friends and work colleagues. After six years we applied for dual nationality and now live in the UK and partially in France. Therefore my fundraising is usually limited to a few people, many who are older and not as fit as myself.  I support spinal cord injuries and children’s leukemia charities because they are very close to my heart.

As a previous swim teacher and coach, I know that swimming is first class exercise for everyone of all ages and abilities and fully recommend this non weight bearing exercise to anyone with spinal, physical and mental injuries. 

Sponsor Brian

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