Channel swim challenge for Alex - The Evesham Observer

Channel swim challenge for Alex

Evesham Editorial 11th Dec, 2019   0

FORMER Worcester Warriors’ star Alex Grove is set to make a real splash for Acorns Children’s Hospice by swimming the busiest shipping lane in the world.

The retired Warriors ace and former Scotland international will attempt the ambitious 21-mile challenge in the English Channel from Dover to Cap Gris Nez in France on August 1 next year.

The father-of-two is a familiar face at the Bath Road hospice having visited with his ex-teammates and the 32-year-old has already begun a serious training programme.

Alex has already completed a number of marathon swims, including the Great North Swim at Lake Windermere, Dock to Dock at London’s Royal Victoria Docks and the Thames Marathon.

“During my time at Worcester Warriors we worked closely with Acorns and I remember returning home and reflecting on my first visit and thinking that Acorns is an incredibly special place,” he said.

“My wife Tash and I are extremely lucky to have two healthy children, Imogen and Ottilie. We still live in Worcester, not far from the hospice, so choosing this wonderful charity was an easy decision.”

The former Scotland centre admitted his training swims had all presented their own difficulties but said the Channel challenge held a special allure for long distance swimmers.

The feat is also helping Alex fill the sporting void since hanging up his boots after a 12-year career as a professional rugby player.

“I loved those years; the camaraderie, the competition, the sharing of the highs and lows and the emotional rollercoasters which are part and parcel of sport with close teammates,” he said.

“During my rugby career, I was able to recognise what it was I truly valued about the game and once I retired, I set about filling the void.

“I wanted to take myself out of that comfort zone again. The magnitude of this challenge will do just that,” Alex added.

Mel Hall, area fund-raiser for Acorns, said: “What an inspiration! Swimming the English Channel is a phenomenal feat and we’re thrilled Alex has chosen to support Acorns with this epic fund-raiser.

“As a charity which relies on fund-raising to survive, we simply wouldn’t be here without people like Alex, who are willing to go that extra mile to help us continue our work caring for children and families,” she said.

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