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Christmas Toy Appeal: Former Recorder editor doubles charity swimming efforts

PUBLISHED: 11:38 04 December 2018 | UPDATED: 11:39 04 December 2018

Colin Grainger, former Recorder editor, after his swim in sunny Argentina. Picture: Colin Grainger

Colin Grainger, former Recorder editor, after his swim in sunny Argentina. Picture: Colin Grainger

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The toy appeal has gone international this year – with a fundraising swim in Argentina.

In the middle of his 50 lengths in Buenos Aires in November. Picture: Colin GraingerIn the middle of his 50 lengths in Buenos Aires in November. Picture: Colin Grainger

For the past 40 years, former Recorder editor Colin Grainger has completed 50 lengths to raise money for Community Links and The Recorder’s appeal.

For this year’s appeal, he went one step further, completing 50 lengths in Buenos Aires and 50 lengths on home turf.

“I was visiting family, and there’s a swimming pool not far from the house,” he said.

“My son, James, said I should do a swim there as a joke.

In the middle of his 50 lengths in Buenos Aires in November. Picture: Colin GraingerIn the middle of his 50 lengths in Buenos Aires in November. Picture: Colin Grainger

“The pool in Argentina is about a quarter of a length shorter than the Harold Hill pool where I usually do it, so it was like a bit of training.”

So far, he’s raised £330 of his £500 goal, but is hoping to increase that in time to get some extra toys for Christmas.

He said, unsurprisingly, this year’s swim took longer than previous years.

“The last few lengths were problematic,” he said.

“At the end I started to get cramp.”

Colin said he was surprised at how well the first 20 lengths went, which he put down to some decent training.

“I did train, although I was late doing it,” he said.

“If I don’t go swimming for two or three weeks I have to start at the beginning again, so I stuck to doing it.

“It’s just something I have carried on doing, and it’s a way of keeping fit.”

He said the funniest part of the marathon swim came before it even started – when the lifeguard was interrupted by someone asking for help, as it appeared someone had used the showers as a toilet.

But that didn’t deter him, and he completed his 50 lengths of breast stroke in around an hour and 20 minutes.

“I think perhaps I’ll have a think of something less active next year,” he added.

“Someone suggested a 24-hour marathon bowl, but I’m not sure that’d be any better!”

Every penny that Colin raises will be turned into toys for the 18,000 target. To donate to his efforts, visit gofundme.com/christmas-toy-appeal-for-young.

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