Victorian to swim across English Channel for WaterAid

Victorian Glenn Wilson will swim from England to France via the choppy waters of the English Channel in late June, in memory of a friend and to raise money for WaterAid.

News

18 Jun 2015 | AU

Victorian Glenn Wilson will swim from England to France via the choppy waters of the English Channel in late June, in memory of a friend and to raise money for WaterAid.

This isn’t Glenn’s first big swim – you might recall his record-breaking crossing of Port Phillip Bay in March. “I started open-water long-distance swimming seriously a couple of years ago,” he says. “I set myself the goal of swimming the channel after talking to a couple of friends who were about to attempt it. Only 130 Australians have ever made the crossing, so it’s a big goal to aim for.”

Glenn who is General Manager of Infrastructure Services at Yarra Valley Water has been training for this incredible feat of endurance for the past 18 months. He currently swims around 120 km every month, including plenty of open-water sessions to get his body used to the cold.

And while you might expect swimmers to trim down before attempting the 32 km channel crossing, the opposite is true. “I’ve been putting on a few kilos to give my vital organs extra protection from the cold,” Glenn says. “It means I can eat pretty much anything I want!”

Glenn is aiming to complete the crossing in under ten hours. And despite many months of preparation, he’s feeling slightly nervous about finally tackling his goal.

“I don’t really know what to expect,” he admits. “My biggest fear is my body won’t hold out – when I was swimming Port Phillip Bay, my left shoulder became really inflamed around the eight-hour mark. The other big challenges will be avoiding jellyfish and the ships which go up and down the channel.”

Glenn will be accompanied by a safety boat throughout the swim from England to France. His friend Amanda will be on board to provide support, but there’s another good buddy who will be front of Glenn’s mind on the day. “I’m dedicating this swim to my mate and training partner Charles Erasmus, who tragically passed away during a swim earlier this year,” he says. “Charles and I travelled to all our swims together, sharing many great memories. I was hoping he’d be part of my support crew, but it wasn’t to be.”

“No one should be afraid to set themselves goals that might initially seem unachievable,” Glenn says. “You just need to have a plan that you can break down into smaller, achievable pieces. Even if I don’t make it across, I know that I’ve done everything in my power to succeed.”

Glenn is raising money through sponsorship of his swim for the charity WaterAid. WaterAid transforms the lives of the poorest and most marginalised people in developing countries by improving access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene. “I am supporting WaterAid because living in a developed country, we take safe drinking water and sanitation services as a given – unfortunately this is not the case for millions of people living in the developing world who desperately need our help to get access to the most essential of essential services”.

WaterAid Australia Chief Executive Paul Nichols says, “We are so grateful for Glenn for supporting WaterAid with his swim and we wish him all the best for this amazing challenge.” 

People can sponsor Glenn via this link: https://give.everydayhero.com/au/glenn-wilson-s-channel-swim

Follow Glenn’s blog: https://channelchallenge2015.wordpress.com/

Contact

Cheryl West, Yarra Valley Water Media Manager: 03 9872 1301 or Cheryl.West@yvw.com.au

Kirrily Johns, WaterAid Communications Manager: 03 9001 8246 or Kirrily.Johns@wateraid.org.au

About WaterAid

WaterAid’s vision is of a world where everyone, everywhere has safe water, sanitation and hygiene. The international organisation works in developing countries across Africa, Asia, Central America and the Pacific region to transform lives by improving access to safe water, hygiene and sanitation in some of the world’s poorest communities. Since 1981, WaterAid has reached 21 million people with safe water and, since 2004, 18 million people with sanitation. For more information, visit: www.wateraid.org/au