Local kids making a big splash for Sports Relief

Two local kids have their sights set on Saturday, March 22, when they will each swim 2.5 kilometres for Sports Relief.

The distance, which is just over two miles in old money, is a remarkable feat for one of those taking part - he couldn’t swim until two years ago.

Taking part in the event will be Carnalridge Primary School pupils 9-year-old, Christos Paflis, and Victoria Fawcett aged 10. Victoria has been a member of Coleraine Swimming Club for the past three years, however, two years ago Christos was scared to put his face into the water - he’s now hoping to swim 100 lengths of the Leisure Centre’s pool, in a bid to raise money for Sports Relief.

“I am really excited,” Christos, who is currently completing his gold rookie lifeguard training, told The Times. “Victoria and I have already met our target of £500, so we’re hoping now we can get to £600.”

After spotting a poster in Coleraine Leisure Centre for the event, Christos’ mother Lynne explained: “Christos was determined that he would take part, so I though that if he could get someone else to do it with him, they could spur each other on.

“They have both been training hard for it, so fingers crossed it will pay off.”

The pals will take on their challenge on Saturday, March 22 and they’ll be cheered on by friends and family. 10-year-old Victoria is described as a ‘water baby’ by her mother Ruth.

“From Victoria was able to walk she loved the water, shes a very strong swimmer and is currently taking in the rookie lifeguard bronze award,” explained Ruth.

The Swimathon is the United Kingdom’s biggest fundraising swimming event with thousands of people jumping into pools around the country. Swimmers can choose from 1.5 kilometre, 2.5 kilometre or 5 kilometre individual distances.

Fancy a go yourself? You can enter the Swimathon at www.swimathon.org or by contacting Coleraine Leisure Centre on 0287035 6432.