July 31 2014 Latest news:
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
A 65-year-old completed his 25th consecutive 5km swimathon in a row to help raise money for Sport Relief.
Dedicated swimmer Len Phoenix has completed the challenge for the past quarter of a century but suffered a potential setback when he was diagnosed with an uneven heartbeat.
However after help from a consultant and the British Heart Foundation, he continues to swim regularly at Stradbroke Pool - and beat his target time of 1h 25mins last week to match the time he set in 1995.
However a modest Mr Phoenix - a swimming instructor who has competed at local, regional and national levels, as well as international level as a veteran - said the swimathon represented a series of individual achievements, rather than just one.
He also highlighted the efforts organiser Maria Smith - who completed her 18th swimathon - and nine-year-old Arlo Foster, who set a target of completing 1.5km.
“5,000 metres later, Arlo amazed everyone with his extended accomplishment,” said Mr Phoenix.
In total 111 swimmers took part in the event over a series of sessions held at the pool last week.
Ex-Olympic swimmer Duncan Goodhew even came down to offer them some encouragement.
“Everyone was knocked backwards by his quite incredible character,” said Mr Phoenix. “He is inspiring and a huge enthusiast.
“For a rural community, Stradbroke’s fund-raising is fantastic and always in the thousands. No doubt this year we will be sending Sport Relief a big pot of money.”
Are you doing something for charity in South Norfolk? Tell EDP reporter Andrew Papworth by calling 01379 651153 or email email@example.com