23 June 2017
By Bryan T. Smyth
Six members from the Myrtleville Swimmers, known more locally as the ‘Myrtleville Selkies’ are preparing to swim over and back to France in the English Channel over a period of 40 hours. Their swim will hopefully start from the 30th June in Dover. The English Channel has become an iconic swim for open water swimmers, considered the Everest of swimming¬ and they have decided to do a there and back!
All the team have intensively trained in pools and Myrtleville as well as going to a specialist training camp in Carlingford over the past 12 months, ensuring that they will complete the swim in challenging conditions that the Channel presents. In real terms, they will be swimming at least double the length of the Channel as they swim against tides and currents. Paul Foreman from the UK, who has managed many boats for Irish swimmers, will be the Skipper for the intrepid team!
Harry Casey, John Kiely, Brenda Sisk, Laurence Courtney and Ann Smyth, will be joined by Marie Watson, Head Nurse of the Children’s Unit in Cork University Hospital. All funds raised will go directly to the work of the Children’s Unit to support the costs of a new Parents Room in Phase II of the new building. With help from friends, family and the general public the ‘Myrtleville Selkies’ are aiming to equip the new Parents Room with couches, soft furnishings, a new fridge and kitchen equipment.
Marie Watson said today, ‘The Selkies are up for the Channel Challenge! All our training over the last year we hope will really pay off when we get out on the water in our boat called ‘The Optimist’. My one and only thought is that I will be doing this for the children, our children to equip out our new Parents’ Room. There is a legend that the Selkies were sea creatures and they shed their skins to become human, so when we finish our challenge we will be taking off those swimsuits and hanging them up to dry!’
You can support the swimmers by donating online www.idonate.ie/myrtlevilleselkies or call (021) 423 4529 for more information on ways you can help.