I started swimming after my dad told me I was becoming a typical London cabby - overweight! I joined his gym which had an outdoor pool, which I loved. I started swimming daily and someone mentioned Aspire’s relay Channel swims which sounded great, so I signed up to swim in 2020. My team was the Budgies and the whole experience was great, despite feeling a bit ropey on the boat in the dark. The team are now friends for life and I recently trained with one of them who is also attempting a solo later in the year.

Kevin swimming in the English Channel

I decided to attempt to a solo Channel swim because I now live in Dover and there is a great community of swimmers here, including all the international swimmers that come, and I think I just got caught up in it!  My training went really well, with no injuries and I’ve been ok with the cold other than a few shivers early in the season.

My solo swim went really well.  I was so excited and couldn’t wait to start, and got rid of some of my nervous energy by dancing on the beach waiting for the horn to sound.  I was very lucky as the conditions on the day were great. The hardest part was when I just missed the Cap as the tide turned, as it meant another two hours of going against the tide, but it was never going to stop me.  It was a great feeling when I reached France. I landed at La Sirene restaurant and groups of people were cheering. The only disappointment was no champagne from the restaurant!  My favourite moment was after that - belly flopping out of the safety rib when I returned to the boat!

Kevin belly flopping off the boat

I didn’t actually have a swim slot booked, I was waiting on a cancellation so I thought I might be waiting until September - if I was lucky enough to get a slot at all. Now it’s over I feel relief and happiness and I can enjoy the summer. 

It’s been amazing seeing how supportive and kind people are, I’ve had some amazing messages, cards and lovely words from friends. I’m pleased that I raised £3,330 as it’s always a little awkward asking sponsors again after only a couple of years but it feels great raising money for Aspire. I don’t personally know anyone with a spinal cord injury but I’ve now seen some of the amazing work Aspire does.

I actually have Aspire to thank (blame!) for meeting my girlfriend Vicki, as we met in 2020 after we both signed up to do a relay Channel swim with Aspire.  We started to train together and moved to Dover to be by the sea. Signing up for an Aspire relay swim changed both of our lives.

Kevin in the Channel with both thumbs up

If you’re thinking of taking on the Channel, speak to one of the channel training groups like Dover Channel Training where you get invaluable advice and support. Make sure you’re acclimatised to the cold and comfortable with sea swimming. Have a great crew, mine was amazing. A shout out to Paul Cross and my girlfriend Vicki Roughley.

Vicki is taking on the Aspire Arch to Arc relay later this year. My next challenge will be watching as much of the Ashes as possible rather than doing circles in the harbour!

Sponsor Kevin

Relay Channel Swim

Swimming events

How we help