Doncaster grandad dives in for five-hour dip

Brian Jowett celebrates finishing his 5 hour charity swim at Akern Swimming Pool.  Picture: Malcolm Billingham

Brian Jowett celebrates finishing his 5 hour charity swim at Akern Swimming Pool. Picture: Malcolm Billingham

Sporting grandad Brian Jowett made a real splash by going to great lengths for charity.

Brian, aged 53, completed a gruelling five-hour sponsored swim at Askern Leisure Centre in aid of Sheffield Children’s Hospital Charity – and admitted he could have kept going even longer.

He said: “The last hour dragged a bit but I could easily have kept going for a few more hours if I had wanted.

“I really enjoyed it and it wasn’t a problem fitness-wise.

“I felt really fresh, the only thing that was getting to me was the repetition of going up and down the pool.

“I didn’t even ache the next day!

“But, that said, I won’t be going near a swimming pool again in a hurry for a few weeks.”

He took the plunge in aid of his beloved grandson Reuben Bennett who received specialist treatment at the hospital two years ago.

He said: “I chose to fundraise for the charity in order to say thank you and to give something back.”

And he hopes his efforts will raise more than £700.

“I set a target of £500 but I know I have already beaten that and the money is still coming in.

“The more money I can bring in the better.”

Doncaster Culture and Leisure Trust, which operates Askern Leisure Centre, supported Brian by providing free access to the swimming pool at Askern for daily training in the lead-up to the challenge.

Brian spent weeks in training, spending hours each day in the pool getting in shape for the slog.

But he lost count of the number of lengths – and admitted afterwards that his exploits had left him feeling a bit woozy.

He said: “I was meant to go out for a meal afterwards, but I ended up feeling a bit lightheaded by the end of it all.

“However, the next day, I was absolutely fine again.”

Family and friends cheered on Brian throughout the day – and, even though he escaped the marathon stint without pain, he was left feeling dehydrated after five hours in the water.

“That was the only problem I had,” he said.

“I had a headache afterwards, but otherwise it all went absolutely fine.”

Little Britain star is big on fundraising

Comedian David Walliams has undertaken a series of charity swims.

In July 2006, he swam the English Channel for Sport Relief, taking 10 hours and 34 minutes to swim the 22-mile stretch, placing him 167th in the list of fastest channel swims and raising more than £1 million.

In March 2008 Walliams, along with James Cracknell, swam the 12-mile Strait of Gibraltar from Spain to Morocco, again for Sport Relief. He successfully completed the swim in just over four-and-a-half hours.

And in September 2011, he swam the 140-mile length of the River Thames and raised more than £2m for Sport Relief. In the process he also saved a dog from drowning in the river.




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