Wellingborough man on target to finish Channel swim challenge this weekend

Tom is hoping to complete the challenge on Saturday
Tom is hoping to complete the challenge on Saturday

Just a few more miles stands between Tom and his goal of swimming the equivalent of the English Channel for a charity close to his heart.

Tom Carr of Wellingborough only took to the water to learn to swim last year, but he has already taken on the challenge of Swim 22.

The event by Diabetes UK sees people swimming the equivalent of the English Channel in three months at their local pool to raise funds for the charity.

Tom, who has been married for 32 years and has four children and three grandchildren, said: “I’m 62 years of age, weighed nearly 21 stone, was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes 12 years ago and up until I took early retirement 15 months ago, worked permanent nights.”

After retiring, Tom decided to try to address his health issues and after watching a programme called Fixing Dad, he was inspired to try harder.

Tom said: “As those of you that have seen Fixing Dad will know, the similarities between Geoff and myself are a little too close for comfort.

“Since finishing work, my sugar levels had become better controlled but only with the help of much medication.

“Seeing Geoff’s story was the catalyst that was needed to change my lifestyle, my motivation to improve my health was resolute and with the support of my wife and family I proceeded to start to ‘Fix Tom.’

“This was just over six months ago and since starting to diet, I have currently lost 22.9 kilos.

“I had started to learn to swim in January 2016 and I’m currently swimming 40 lengths five days a week or 1,000 metres a day.

“I walk daily for three to four miles and I also purchased a bike, the first since I was a boy.

“The support I have received from my swim coach Rachel has been invaluable and I now make full use of the facilities at the Weandel Centre in Wellingborough.

“I saw the Swim 22 challenge for Diabetes UK and signed up for it.

“I started on February 22 and have currently swum 17.15 miles and I’m hoping to complete the swim on Saturday.

“Unbelievably I’m currently fourth on the leader board out of some 700 swimmers, which is not bad for a non-swimmer just over 12 months ago.”

As well as losing more than three stone, Tom says he has also been able to reduce his insulin by 50 per cent.

He has already completed more than 17 miles at the Waendel Leisure Centre and raised more than £400 for Diabetes UK so far, but he’d love to raise as much as possible for Diabetes UK.

Anyone who wants to sponsor Tom can click here