Harpenden man ‘swimming Channel’ to help spinal cord charity

Channel swimmer Tom Clark

Channel swimmer Tom Clark - Credit: Archant

A Harpenden man will be swimming the equivalent of the English Channel in the town’s swimming pool in order to raise money for Aspire.

Tom Clark, 30, will be taking to the water at the Harpenden pool over 12 weeks from September 12 to raise money and awareness for a charity supporting victims of spinal cord injuries.

Tom will be swimming 22 miles in the pool, which equates to 1,418 lengths, the same distance as the English Channel.

Tom, a sales and events coordinator at Whipsnade Park Golf Club, explained: “I wanted to set myself a challenge and help to give something to people who need help to get back to living a great life. The more I read about the charity the more I want to do for them and raise as much money as possible.”

“I know that to some people who swim a lot that this doesn’t seem like far but for someone who hasn’t swam much since his mid-teenage years it is going to take me some time to get into the swing or stroke of it.

“Every eight hours in the UK someone is paralysed by a spinal cord injury; it can happen to anyone at any time and no one is prepared for how it will change their life. Aspire exists because there is currently no cure. They provide practical help to people who have been paralysed by spinal cord injuries helping them move from injury to independence.”

Tom has been training three times a week in order to prepare himself for the challenge ahead, as well as tirelessly fundraising, having already raised more than £1,000 for the charity.

The money raised by Tom will help to provide much needed equipment, advice, housing and grants to those affected by a spinal cord injury. To make a donation to Aspire and to support Tom in his challenge, visit his JustGiving page.