AS a water polo player former Crompton House pupil Anna Lord is used to taking the plunge.
But the English Channel not an indoor swimming pool was the setting for Anna’s latest water challenge.
She was part of a seven strong team raising funds for Autism East Midlands by crossing 21 miles of one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world… all without a wet suit.
After months of planning and gruelling training, including several cold trips to the sea at Cleethorpes, the team completed their mammoth challenge, reaching France after 13 hours and three minutes of swimming.
“My first experience of open water swimming was with a friend at Salford Quays whose dad had previously swam the Channel,” explained 19-year-old Nottingham University student Anna.
“I was happy when asked to join the team to be able to help such an excellent cause and challenge myself.”
The marathon swim was organised by Tim, currently Anna’s coach at Hucknall, and Sarah Dunsbee who have been involved in the promotion of water polo for many years.
Their other passion is to promote awareness of autism after Hayley, one of their daughters, moved into a residential home at the age of 24.
In August 2015, the Dunsbee family swam across the English Channel for Autism. For this latest attempt they were joined by Cara Saunders, Jack Overton and Piers Martin.
Initially, due to adverse weather conditions, the attempt was postponed for the year and the squad left Dover for home.
However, on the way back they were told a window of opportunity had arisen if they could return to the South Coast in time.
“To say this challenge was difficult was an understatement,” said Sarah.
“We ended up swimming overnight in extremely rough and choppy conditions.
“We are delighted that we were able to undertake this challenge in the end and eventually set foot in France, raising an amazing amount of money for a cause which is close to our hearts.”
Their cross-channel efforts raised £7,241.25 but donations are still being accepted via their Just Giving page: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/sarah-dunsbee