Age is no obstacle for St Albans swimming teacher as she prepares to cross the Channel

Nuffield swimming coach Jan Morse is taking part in a cross channel swim to raise money for the Aspi

Nuffield swimming coach Jan Morse is taking part in a cross channel swim to raise money for the Aspire charity - Credit: Archant

At 63, some would think about starting to slow down in life.

But not Janis Morse, of London Road, St Albans, who will be taking the plunge next week and swimming part of the English Channel for charity.

Friday (14) will see Janis and her team of six relay swim 22 miles in approximately 14 degree water from Dover to Calais in aid of Aspire, a charity that provides support to people with spinal cord injuries.

Training for the event hasn’t been plain sailing for Janis, who fractured her hip shortly after signing up for the swim at the beginning of this year.

Not one to give in, she has made a speedier recovery than expected and managed to keep up a gruelling training schedule.

Janis, a swimming teacher at Nuffield Health and Wellbeing Centre, said on her JustGiving page: “Those of you who I’ve seen recently will know that I’ve had my own brush with injury (nothing new there I know) and know that I’ve been in bits over it!

“Only a hip I know - so by comparison with someone with a spinal injury, I’m making a terrible fuss.”

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She went on: “It’s been horrible, but I’ve had a lot of help with training from the gym.”

The team of six will be taking it in turns to swim in one hour bursts. All of them had to take a two hour qualifying swim in water under 16 degrees.

Janis said: “It’s so cold your hands come out like claws and you can’t moved them for at least an hour. Your fingers curl in and just become rigid, it’s the weirdest sensation.

“You’re shivering so much you can’t speak.”

Despite never swimming the Channel before, this won’t be Janis’s first challenge, having twicetaken part in the San Francisco triathlon.

She said: “I was helping people train for triathlons and I thought ‘why can’t I do this?’.

“I had never really run before but as soon as I started getting into it I loved it, sometimes more than swimming.”

During her training Janis has swam in Stanborough Lake and Denham Lake and the unheated outdoor pool in Cottonmill, St Albans.

She added:: “Many will remember learning to swim in that pool, and they know how cold it is.”

If you would like to sponsor Janis, visit