Three members of staff from the Early Years & Young People’s team at Kings Cross braved the depths of Loch Lomond to take part in the Great Scottish Swim.
Personal assistant Allison Stewart, health promotion officer Fiona Anderson and community learning assistant Angela Campbell decided to sign up for the challenge as a way to improve their health and fitness as well as to raise money for worthy causes.
The Great Scottish Swim is an open water swimming challenge with various distances to choose from meaning people of all swimming abilities can take part. Allison, Fiona and Angela decided to go for the half mile challenge and took to the water on a sunny Saturday in August.
Fiona explained “In the depths of winter we spotted a social media page advertising the Great Scottish Swim and the brainwave (or deluded thought?) came into being that we should sign up for this event and so the madness began!
“Half a mile does not seem far to walk, but to swim, could we get there? Having not swum for over ten years with mixed abilities between us, training began, with support from school and community swimming pools, downloaded training plans, colleagues, and the moral support we gave each other.
“Our first venture to Easthaven will not be forgotten as we entered the bitter cold sea to check if the wetsuits protected us from the cold water. Numerous trips to outdoor water venues and many hours of practice later, the day of the event came.
“We set off to Loch Lomond full of excitement and trepidation. The setting was stunning and after some words of encouragement from the MC/Starter we were off. Very choppy water on the first section made it quite difficult, however once we were past that, the water was lovely and we all completed the distance with a great sense of achievement and pride.
“Reflecting back on this challenge and the months of preparation to achieve our goals, we have gained so much more than the original thoughts of improving fitness. The camaraderie and emotional support for each other, but also from all our colleagues within the work team and friends and family along the way, has made this a truly wonderful experience, one that we have all gained a huge amount from and we will endeavour to aim for higher and more challenging goals next year.
“Our fundraising events and just giving pages raised over £1500 for our chosen charities – Macmillan and Alzheimer’s UK. We would like to give a huge thank you to all the words of encouragement, swimming tips and motivational advice we have received in the last few months, we have felt truly supported.”