Rookie Goodmayes swimmer tackling Channel swim

A year ago he could not swim, but in September Ken Roberts will be crossing The English Channel.

Ken Roberts, 56, of Barley Lane, Goodmayes, was inspired to swim after his mother Ivy died last September.

“One of the small social events we did together every week was go swimming at Fullwell Cross Leisure Centre.

“I remember looking from the water one day when my mother was watching me and her smile gave me the inspiration for what I then thought was a crazy and once in a lifetime mission. Something stirred inside me.” A month after 84-year-old Ivy died, black cab driver Ken decided to turn his hobby into professional training.

A chance conversation with colleague Mike Mooney surprised him, when he discovered the fellow cab driver had swum the channel.

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“He shared his knowledge and told me the right way to go about making it a reality.

“I have heaps to look forward to, like getting covered in grease, cold water, and ferries that refuse to give way!” he added.

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The 21 mile crossing is planned for September 19, but is dependent on tides and weather, which can also increase the crossing distance, Ken expects to swim 26 miles.

Ken is hoping to raise �10,000 for three charities after he sets off from Folkestone or Dover under the supervision of the Channel Swimming Association.

Funds raised through sponsorship will go towards Alzheimer’s Society Redbridge, Redbridge Respite Care Association and Crossroads Care.

To sponsor, contact Ken on 07803171808.

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