Our congratulations go to East Dorset Open Water Club member Ann McGrath who successfully completed a Channel relay swim on 6 August 2009 with three male team-mates who answered her advertisement on the Channel Swimming Association website!
The 49-year-old swimming teacher from Mudeford did not swim as a child after she was diagnosed with a hole in the heart.
Ann teaches swimming and hydrotherapy at the Littledown Centre and Mudeford Junior School, said: “I wasn’t allowed to swim until I was 23 but I love swimming in the sea. I have done the Round Brownsea Island swim five times and the Channel was the next challenge.”
Mother-of-three Ann’s relay swim, 26 years after doctors gave her the all clear, has raised £800 for Christchurch Scoutlink and Mudeford Junior School’s special needs department.
“Conditions were absolutely beautiful and we got to France in thirteen-and-a-half hours last Thursday.” Ann told the Daily Echo. “It was absolutely brilliant. I had a school of dolphins following me, a seal swimming beside me and jellyfish underneath – and I didn’t get stung. I enjoyed every minute of it. I started on a high and I am still on a high.
“It has given me a taste for it and the next challenge will be to swim the Channel on my own – though it will be a couple of years before I’m ready to do that.”