London Fitness Trainer takes on Channel Swim Challenge for vital Children’s Charity
Driven by a passion to push herself to the limits, a London fitness trainer will attempt to complete one of the most gruelling feats of human endeavour when she swims the English Channel in aid of the Children’s Air Ambulance (TCAA).
After taking on Channel 4’s SAS: Who Dares Wins 2020, Kirsty Hendey (33) is no stranger to challenging herself both mentally and physically, and her next venture is to take on an epic swim as one of six swimmers who make up the Tidal Force Team.
The team will gather on the Dover shores this month and will be called upon anytime between 10-14 June, joining a further two teams, in the charity challenge to navigate the 22.5-mile stretch as a relay – in an effort to raise vital funds for the lifesaving service.
“I am a true believer in challenging ourselves and stepping outside of that comfort zone to see what we are truly capable of,” says Kirsty.
Despite only signing up to the Children’s Air Ambulance event in April, the inspirational athlete has been training four times a week in cold water, working on technique, acclimatisation, and endurance – and has now passed her assessment swim, where she spent 2.5 hours swimming in the cold.
“I’ve been training in pools, lakes, and the sea a couple of times to get used to the temperature and the different elements I could face.
“I have also practised night swimming as there’s every possibility that we will be facing this challenge in the dark – but the assessment swim was by far the toughest thing I’ve done to date,” she adds.
Famed for her fitness capabilities, Kirsty’s acknowledged that open water swimming calls upon a different form of fitness and techniques than she’s used to, which has pushed her outside of her normal training routine, but she’s determined to complete this channel swim with her team.
“I am new to swimming, especially open water, so this cold swim through currents and an unpredictable sea will really be a huge achievement – especially whilst also raising funds and awareness for a great charity,” says Kirsty.
The Children’s Air Ambulance – operated by The Air Ambulance Service – is a national service which is changing the face of paediatric and neonatal care through the high-speed transfer of critically ill babies and children – flying them from one hospital to another for specialist care.
Two clinically designed AgustaWestland 169 helicopters, provide flying intensive care units and work with 10 NHS paediatric retrieval teams across the UK. If a child is too sick to fly, then the Children’s Air Ambulance can fly a specialist team directly to them.
Kirsty – both excited and nervous- will become part of a worldwide “family” of people who have conquered the famed stretch of water, home to the world’s busiest shipping lanes, but more than that she will help to keep families together through supporting the critical work of the national charity.
“I really hope this helps to inspire other people to try something new and raise funds and awareness for a worthwhile cause. So many people’s plans have been put on hold during the pandemic, so my message to others is: If there’s something you want to do, challenge yourself, push yourself and accomplish it – you won’t regret it,” Kirsty adds.
On behalf of TCAA Special Events team, Kristina Johnson says: “We are delighted to have Kirsty on the Tidal Force Team, taking part in our incredible challenge.
“We’d like to thank her for all her dedication training and fundraising– despite the difficulties faced in the current climate. Kirsty’s support of the charity is truly inspirational, and we look forward to seeing her in the water, cheering her and the rest of team on.”
To support Kirsty and the Tidal Force Team on their challenge, please click here