Alex is diving in to pursue his teenage dream and help charity

Alex Gaunt, who is to swim the English Channel

Alex Gaunt, who is to swim the English Channel - Credit: Archant

A father of two is aiming to complete his childhood dream by swimming at least 21 miles across the English Channel for charity.

Alex Gaunt will be up against strong tides, freezing water temperatures and uncertain weather as he takes on the challenge in September.

It will see him swim almost non-stop for around 12 hours from Samphire Hoe in England to Cap Gris Nez in France.

The 47 year old, who grew up in Sprowston and now lives in Knowsley Road, Norwich, said he had wanted to swim the channel since the age of 14.

But he will also be taking on the gruelling crossing in aid of the charities that support his friend's daughter, Issy Thomas.

The eight year old suffers from cerebral palsy, quadriplegia and epilepsy.

Mr Gaunt said he was hoping to raise £2,500 for PaceCentre and Let's Do It Anyway, which both support her.

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Speaking about the challenge, he said: 'I think it will all depend on the conditions on the day. You train for the worst and hope for the best.'

Mr Gaunt said it was only in the past seven years that he started to regularly keep fit.

Since then he has entered various marathons and triathlons, but only now has he decided to revisit his swimming dream.

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Are you taking on an unusual endurance challenge? Call Luke Powell on 01603 772684

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