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Thatcham woman completes Channel challenge

Swimming instructor hoping to raise £3,000 for charity

Charlotte Booth

Reporter:

Charlotte Booth

Thatcham woman completes Channel challenge

A WEST Berkshire swimming instructor successfully swam the Channel from Dover to France in a remarkable 12 hours and 26 minutes.

Joanne Jones, who lives in Thatcham and volunteers at Newbury YMCA, started the challenging task of swimming the 21 miles to France on the evening of Monday, August 28, at around midnight.

She reached France by the Tuesday lunchtime.

Mrs Jones said: “I’m absolutely made up with it.

“The weather was absolutely perfect. The best bit was swimming into the sunrise.

“I was worried about swimming at night, but it was really tranquil and the stars were amazing. To see the sky change colour with the sun rise was amazing too.”

Swimming is in her blood as her uncle, Mike Ball, swam the Channel in 2009 at the age of 51, and Mrs Jones and her father have also swum Channel relays together. 

Mrs Jones teaches swimming at BST Fitness in Newbury and Aqua Blue swimming in Compton.

She said: “I’m looking forward to sharing the experience with the kids I teach.

“The messages of support were read to me from the boat and they really helped. Inspiring other people is a nice add-on to the experience.”

She added: “I’m happy to have done it. Life’s got a lot in store for me.

“I’m looking forward to getting back into normal life.

“With training I haven’t seen friends or gone to church, so I’m looking forward to that – I’ve no real desire to set a new goal yet.”

She hopes to raise £3,000 for the Newbury YMCA. 

To sponsor Mrs Jones, go to www.justgiving.com/ fundraising/joanne-channel-swim

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