Fundraising bid makes a splash

Swimmers from Tring Park School, from left, Katerina Jones, Alexandra Gibbon and Emily Loveday, all aged 11.
Swimmers from Tring Park School, from left, Katerina Jones, Alexandra Gibbon and Emily Loveday, all aged 11.

An eleven-year-old girl has become the leading fundraiser in a national campaign that has seen her swim the equivalent of the English Channel.

Alexandra Gibbon, who studies at Tring Park School, is on course to raise £7,000 by swimming the 22-mile distance at the Tring Sportspace pool over the last 12 weeks.

All the money will go to the Association of Spinal Injury Research Rehabilitation and Reintegration (Aspire), a charity which provides practical help to people who have been paralysed by Spinal Cord Injury.

She said: “I was originally asked to take on this swim as part of a team with two other girls.

“I asked my mummy to explain to me what the charity did and she told me it helped to support people who have been paralysed by spinal cord spinal injuries. These injuries could happen to anyone at any time, people like you and me.

“I told mummy that if I took on the challenge to swim 22 miles by myself rather than as a team, people would sponsor more money as it would be more of an achievement. The more money I raise, the more it will help Aspire.”

Alexandra has been swimming twice a week at Tring Sportspace, with one of the sessions involving her get-ting up at 6am to get her miles completed.

Her supporters have included one anonymous donor who has pledged £1,000 on her JustGiving page.

School principal Stefan Anderson said: “Alexandra is an extremely hard-working student and is very committed to her studies.

“All of us here at Tring Park are very proud of Alexandra’s achievement with the Aspire Channel Swim 2015.

“Taking part in this swim challenge on her own is an indication of how determined Alexandra is and we look forward to hearing more from the charity about how Alexandra’s efforts will benefit people with spinal cord injuries.”

You can sponsor Alexandra at www.justgiving.com/alex-gibbon