Exmouth swimmer completes celebrity charity challenge

A 33-year-old Brixington man has completed a challenge of a lifetime swimming with celebrities for Cancer Research.

Primary School teacher Olly White, of Brixington Lane won one of just two public places on The Galaxy Samsung Swim celebrity relay challenge to swim the Irish Sea.

Olly, who was stung by a jellyfish during this week’s 56-mile swim said the challenge was hard-going, but the cold ‘numbed the pain’.

The Exmouth Swimming and Life Saving Society member praised the celebrity line-up for the efforts in the water.

Olly said he was grateful for the support from people who had sponsored the challenge and welcomed further donations.

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He said: “It was a huge challenge for everyone especially when the weather got a bit rough in the middle.

“Fifty six miles is a long way and this is definitely one of the most difficult swims I’ve ever been involved in.

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“Given that they’re not open water swimmers the celebrities did really well and it was a really special event for everyone.

“Knowing that we were raising money for Cancer Research UK’s life-saving work gave us the motivation to get across the Irish Sea.

“I know the amount of money I’ve raised has doubled while I’ve been swimming so I’d like to thank everyone for their support.

“I hope people in Devon will continue to donate to the team and that the money keeps coming in. It could help to make a huge difference to people affected by cancer.”

Olly, who in 2005 successfully swam the Channel in less than 12 hours, left Holyhead on Tuesday night and arrived on Thursday morning at the north pier at Wicklow Bay, in Ireland, some 35 hours and 18 minutes after setting off.

Olly completed his feat with boy-band singer Ronan Keating, TV presenters Jason Bradbury and Jenny Frost, former British butterfly swimmer and Olympic medallist Steve Parry, and former Strictly Come Dancing contestant, Pamela Stephenson, who all made up the team of 10.

Captain of swim, Ronan Keating, said: “I can’t believe we finally made it to Ireland.

“Fifty six miles later it’s an incredible achievement and I’m so proud of the team.”

• You can still sponsor the team at www.virginmoneygiving.com/team/theswim. or Olly at www.virginmoneygiving.com/OllyWhite

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