Jim Appleby undertook a series of one mile open water swims in memory of his nephew Sean throughout 2012. With the support of his family, including his son Lochlainn getting involved in the swims too, he raised wonderful awareness and £1,600 for CRY.
“Following the death of my 19 year old nephew, Sean O’Brien, from sudden adult death syndrome, in October 2010, my 13 year old son Lochlainn and I wanted to do something to raise awareness of Cardiac Risk in the Young, and in memory of Sean.
We decided to enter the British Gas Great Swim series.
Not being a particularly strong swimmer, I needed to put together a training plan, and from January 2012 Lochlainn and I started swimming for an hour, once a week in the local pool, and later in the spring, at open water swimming sessions in a nearby lake.
My first event was the Great London Swim in May. A one mile swim at London Victoria Docks. It was nerve racking as it was the first time I had done this type of thing. However the event organisers were fantastic. Everyone was very friendly and supportive, and it was a great feeling of accomplishment to have finished the course.
Under sixteens are only allowed to do a half mile swim, so Lochlainn’s first event was the Great East Swim in June, in the crystal clear reservoir at Alton Water. We swam together, chatting and keeping each other going until the last 25 meters, when we’d decided to race each other to the finish. Lochlainn won by a short distance.
It was then onto the Great Manchester Swim in July for a one mile swim in Salford Quays. Although the weather wasn’t fantastic, there was a great atmosphere and, wearing our CRY UK t-shirts, we met a lot of fellow CRY supporters and swimmers.
The final swim was to be the Great Scottish Swim in August. However the weather and the conditions meant the event had to be cancelled at the last minute. Not wanting to deterred, we drove up to Loch Lomond to stage our own ‘Great Scottish Swim’. An unbelievable experience.
The swimming was a great way for us to remember Sean, and through sponsorship we raised £1,600 for CRY.
We’ve already put our entries in for 2013.”