For 22 years, Aspire’s swimmers have been taking on the challenge of swimming 22 miles over 12 weeks to support people with Spinal Cord Injury.  The first Aspire Channel Swim took place in 1999 and was the brainchild of Aspire’s CEO Brian Carlin, who looking back says “I never really thought about how big the Aspire Channel Swim challenge could become or about the positive impact it would have on the many thousands of people who have participated.” 

Sign up to the Aspire Channel Swim

Over the past 22 years, the Aspire Channel Swim has raised over £7 million but, because of the Covid-19 pandemic, last year proved challenging for the charity in many ways.  Many fundraising events had to be cancelled, which meant that income would be severely reduced and so Aspire took the decision to furlough most of its fundraising team.  The dedicated swimmers still determined to take on the Aspire Channel Swim had to deal with new rules, from limited numbers allowed in each lane and having to book their spot in the lane in advance to turning up swim-ready and having to go home to shower.  And that was only if swimming pools were able to be open; during the many lockdowns, swimming pools had to remain closed. Despite all this, we still had thousands of amazing swimmers who took on and completed the challenge.

Aspire to be a channel champ quote and swimmer smiling

We are now looking forward to the Aspire Channel Swim 2021, which will take place from 27th September to 20th December.  Although some pools have still not re-opened (and sadly some may remain permanently closed) we hope that everyone who wants to take part will be able to find somewhere to swim.  Swimming is one of the best forms of exercise and taking on the Aspire Channel Swim has helped many people get fit, lose weight and improve their mental health and wellbeing.

It’s free to sign up to the Aspire Channel Swim - the Original Channel Challenge – and you’ll receive a free swim hat.  If you raise just £25 you will receive a medal at the end of the challenge.  Anyone of any age can sign up so whether you’re 5 or 105 sign up to swim 22 miles over 12 weeks in your local pool.

Find our more and sign up to the Aspire Channel Swim

Aspire’s CEO Brian Carlin recalls how the Aspire Channel Swim began

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