Channel charity team gets stuck into sea swim training

Intrepid mountaineering accountant Gary Parker and his team of swimmers have taken their training for their English Channel attempt into the Bristol Channel.

Gary, who is already training with his five strong English Channel 2013 team in outdoor facilities at Forest of Dean’s Lydney Bathurst pool, is now also swimming in ‘real’ conditions.

Gary, MD of Magor, Monmouthshire-based Parker & Co Accountants, has climbed some of the world’s tallest mountains and taken part in gruelling desert and jungle endurance challenges admits this latest adventure will be one of the toughest he has attempted.

The accountant has entered a team of six to swim the challenging 21 miles (32 kms) across the Channel in relay from Dover to Calais next summer, in aid of St David’s Hospice Care.

The five other members of the charity English Channel swim team are: Kara Williams, Kath Lewis, Dawn Lea Hannah Roche and Keith Leslie.

Another team, consisting of Ruth Jones, Tor Hart, Lesley Bateman and Christine Birch, is also taking part in the swim but will complete the 21 miles distance of the English Channel on May 13, at Newport International Swimming Pool, Spytty.

A fund raising St David’s Hospice care Glitter & Balls Christmas dinner event at the Holiday Inn, The Coldra, Newport, in support of the English Channel event, is being staged on Saturday December 1. For details call 01633 851264 or email: [email protected]

Gary said: “We have completed some serious training at Bathurst and now we are moving up a notch with swimming in the sea from a boat in ‘real’ conditions which is a whole lot different and a great deal more of a challenge. We were swimming at Porthcawl on the weekend with sea temperatures of about 13 degrees. Flippin cold!”

Gary and the relay team, who are looking to raise a combined £25,000 for St David’s Hospice Care, has booked the swim for a day in the week of July 1-8th 2013. He is now looking for corporate sponsors for the swim to fund kit, training sessions, pilotage costs and other essentials.

St David’s Hospice Care Director of Fundraising and Lottery Kris Broome said: “The amount of effort these people are putting into this event in aid of St David’s Hospice Care is simply staggering and we really can’t thank them enough for all that they are doing.

“I’d urge anyone wanting to support the two relay teams to buy a ticket for the Glitter & Ball Christmas dinner because it’ll be a great night and will all be for a very good cause.”

For more details on the Gary Parker St David’s Hospice Care English Channel and Newport International Pool Swims , to register interest and to keep an eye on progress please visit: or contact Gary Parker on 01633 889020 or Kris Broome on 01633 851058