Dolphin take up charity challenge

A YOUNG member of Swindon Dolphin has taken up a nationwide challenge to raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust.

Liam Herbert, a 13-year-old Dolphin member read about fellow teenage swimmer Otto Putland’s challenge’ in the Aqua Zone magazine.

Putland, who trains at the University of Bath , had been inspired by the story of promising tennis player Laurie Engel, who died of cancer aged 13.

Putland said: “A few months ago I read about Laurie Engel. Laurie was a boy like me.

“Laurie was my age when he was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive cancer.

“He had horrible treatment for seventeen months and sadly died last September.

“But before he died Laurie told his parents that he wanted to make a difference. On the day he died his parents made the first phone call to Teenage Cancer Trust.

“I decided to use my swimming to raise awareness of teenage cancer and to help raise funds so wherever I swim in public for the next 17 months I shall swim with the number six on my arms to represent the six teenagers who are diagnosed with cancer every day in our country.

“In the first six weeks of my fundraising I raised £1,000 which I have given to Mr and Mrs Engel to donate to the Trust in Laurie’s name.

My next target is £6,000. But there is only so much I can do on my own so I have come up with the idea of Otto’s Challenge.”

Herbert decided to take up the challenge and now his Dolphin club are holding a sponsored swim on Monday at the Milton Road Health Hydro to raise money the Teenage Cancer Trust.

Herbert has good reason to support the charity, his 17-year-old brother Luke was a top swimmer with Dolphin until he became ill with cancer two years ago. He has also had wonderful support from the Teenage Cancer Trust.

Swindon Dolphin agreed to support Otto’s Challenge to try to raise at least £1,000 September 22.

Dolphin spokesman Stephen Westman said: “We have already raised £500 at the recent Wiltshire Championships and received a marvelous donation of £2,200 from Tigersharks ASC.

“Now Liam wants to involve everyone in the club either by swimming or helping out.”

The swimming challenge is – in teams of five – to complete 5000m in the fastest time possible.

This will be swum as a 50x100m freestyle relay, with swimmers continuously rotating through their team until each swimmer has completed 1x100m swims.

Elite and development swimmers, beginners and even parents will be participating.

Please note this event is not open to the public.

For more information on Otto’s Challenge and the Teenage Cancer Trust visit

www.ottoschallenge.co.uk

or www.teenagecancertrust.org.

Source: Swindon Advertiser (26 05 07)

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