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Sally conquered her fear of sharks and swimming in the dark to complete the Channel Swim


By Connor Thompson


A determined swimmer has conquered her fears of the ocean while raising £10,000 for charity.

Sally Hughes, from Elston, and five of her friends, have joined an elite group of swimmers to complete a lap of the English Channel.

The group collectively raised £10,000 for the British Heart Foundation, where Sally has worked for three years.

Rhian Fuge·Lynne Ruddick·Sally Hughes (me)·Rachel Owen·Sian Hughes·Joanne Oliver - training swim Kingsdown Dover (17048638)
Rhian Fuge·Lynne Ruddick·Sally Hughes (me)·Rachel Owen·Sian Hughes·Joanne Oliver - training swim Kingsdown Dover (17048638)

Sally raised £1,500 of the total.

She said she had to conquer a fear of sharks and swimming in the dark to complete the fundraiser, having suffered a traumatic scare 20 years ago, which put her off swimming in the ocean.

“It was a huge challenge for me personally because of a panic attack I had in Greece,” said Sally.

“I was swimming in dark water and I must have thought there was a shark or something near me, and I went into a panic.

“My legs froze and I was doing my best to tread water.

“Earlier this year was the first time I had gone back into the sea.”

Sally said the team decided to swim the 21-mile route in tribute of one of her team-mate’s father, who passed away earlier this year, while the ocean route was chosen because it was something different to the usual fundraiser.

“It is something you don’t hear a lot of people do,” she said. “It’s very unique.”

To train for the swim, which was completed in under 14 hours, Sally re-learnt front crawl and completed a pier-to-pier challenge in Bournemouth.



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