A small market town in Somerset marked the 90th anniversary of their community pool in style by recreating an overnight Channel swim. Wivey Pool in Wiveliscombe is a heated open air pool and six teams completed the epic swimming challenge in a six person relay.
How do you swim the Channel in a pool? It’s 22 miles from England to France – so that’s a lot of lengths; 1291 to be precise. Between them, the six teams managed 7,746 lengths whilst raising monies to refurbish the pool which is run by local volunteers and used extensively by the wider Taunton School pupil and parent body.
Three teams were drawn from the local community and regular local swimmers with a further three teams coming from the accomplished Taunton School Long Distance Swimming Club. They were joined by a team of National & Olympic swimmers based out of The Southport School in Queensland Australia who swam concurrently.
The first team home were the ‘Wivey Monday Medley’ in a time of 10 hours and 14 minutes amongst who Taunton Prep School children Chloe Hims and William Henry aged 11, the youngest swimmers, were proud participants. All the teams finished in a time under eleven and a half hours, quite a feat.
When not swimming pupils camped poolside or watched the classic film Jaws on a big screen erected poolside by new Prep School Deputy Head Mr Coleman.
Late night supporter and new Taunton Prep School Headmaster Andrew Edwards said “It was wonderful to see the staff, parents and pupils at Wiveliscombe Pool for the Channel relay challenge. The pupils are clearly relishing the swim challenges laid out before them and their hard training and dedication pays off when they achieve so much in these big events. The staff, led by Mr McCarthy, are doing a fantastic job supporting the pupils, swimming themselves and making it all possible. Together, the pupils, staff and parents have formed an extraordinary club with an outstanding ethos of challenge, support, respect, friendship and smiles. Long may it thrive!”
The event is set to run annually and Taunton School will look forward to accepting the challenge again next year.