Eleanor Reddington, is celebrating her 70th birthday year in a way that rounds off a swimming journey that began many years ago when she became involved with Aspire, a national charity that provides practical help to people who have been paralysed by Spinal Cord Injury.

To mark the occasion, Eleanor has undertaken a series of 70 different one mile swim challenges, raising over £3,000.  Her final swim was completed on her 70th birthday in the Aspire Leisure Centre’s swimming pool in Stanmore.  

Eleanor in the pool at the Aspire Leisure Centre

Eleanor's journey with Aspire began in 2003 when she took part in the Aspire Channel Swim, an event which challenges people to swim the 22 mile distance of the Channel over 12 weeks in their local swimming pool. Since 2003 she hasn’t missed a single Aspire Channel Swim and has raised over £15,000 participating in that event alone.

The pool-based swim led to Eleanor being part of a relay team that successfully swam across the English Channel, raising even more funds for Aspire. What was meant to be a “one off” Channel swim has paved the way for Aspire to raise an astounding £3 million from open water swim challenges in subsequent years.

Eleanor has continued to take part in both the Aspire Channel Swim and their Open Water Swimming programme, in the Lake District, across the Solent from Portsmouth to Ryde and twice along the River Arun.  In total she has raised over £20,000 for Aspire and is one of their all-time highest fundraisers.

Eleanor has completed her 70 swims in a variety of locations; in rivers, in the Irish Sea, in various pools, but she also spent a month in the United States where she explored the swimming that Texas had to offer. When asked about her favourite swim she is unequivocal in her answer; “I was lucky enough to swim in a pool on the roof of a condo overlooking Houston.  It was breathtaking.”

Eleanor by a swimming pool looking out over Houston Texas

Paul Parrish, Director of Fundraising and Marketing for Aspire, was there to applaud Eleanor’s final birthday mile. He says, “We are a very lucky charity to have someone as committed as Eleanor supporting us.  It was an honour to swim with her on her birthday. We spend the money that Eleanor raises very carefully and this will directly support Aspire's programmes, providing invaluable support to people affected by spinal cord injuries.”

Eleanor Reddington expressed her enthusiasm for the completion of her year’s swimming saying, "Turning 70 is a milestone that I wanted to mark in a meaningful way. Swimming that last mile at the Aspire Leisure Centre seemed the perfect way to celebrate."

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Eleanor has swum the Aspire Channel Swim every year since 2003

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