In September, ten children and two staff from Taunton School took on the challenge of swimming from Fort Gilkicker, near Gosport, across the Solent to Ryde Sands on the Isle of Wight.  This was the second time a team from the school had taken on the challenge and they exceeded the total raised previously, raising almost £10,000 for Aspire.  
In what was a fairly mixed summer as far as the weather was concerned we were pleased that 17th September dawned brightly and with relatively light winds, if not exactly sunny.  Ten pupils (aged 12 and 13) plus two teachers, escorted by a number of support craft and kayakers dived in to begin this challenging swim.  Avoiding ferries, hovercraft and larger ships heading to Southampton the swimmers crossed in a range of times, with Ollie Heard arriving in a fabulous time of 53 minutes, the quickest any Aspire swimmer has ever crossed the Solent in the five years Aspire has been running the event.  

The team raised their impressive total by asking friends and family to sponsor them and by holding cake sales and charity events to boost their fundraising.  Hamish McCarthy, their swim coach and Pastoral Head of Year 7 & 8, chose to support the charity after he had received help following a spinal injury.  Hamish said, "Aspire is a great charity and it is one that is close to my heart because they helped me overcome my spinal injuries.  What a way to raise money, swimming the Solent!  From the fastest to the slowest, everybody rose to what is a considerable challenge, they all conquered the Solent."

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