On Sunday 11th July Sarah Philpott completed her incredible Round Jersey swim for Dame Kelly Holmes Trust, raising an amazing £2,350 in the process.

The 41 mile swim around the Channel Island took Sarah just over 11 hours and while she was on her own in the water for all that time, she was ably supported by her wonderful crew of Patrick, Sophie and Kev aboard the Lionheart. We followed Sarah every stroke of the way as she made her way round the island, only pausing to tread water every hour to take on fluids and nutrition to fuel her for the next stage of the epic swim. Starting at just after 5.30 am, Sarah touched the breakwater wall of Elizabeth Castle in St Hellier at just before 5pm to bring the amazing adventure to an end.

The clear waters surrounding the island has the third largest tidal range in the world! Powered by the fast-moving tide, Sarah said

It was a much tougher swim than I anticipated, with choppy waves in several places that were created by the complex tides. But what I love about open-water swimming are the life lessons I learn along the way; to keep believing, to keep pushing even when the 'weather Gods' have other ideas, and to not look back or too far ahead - just focus on the next feed, focus on 'the now'. These are the lessons that I want to pass on to the young people that participate in the programmes run by the Trust.

  

Sarah has dealt with depression for 14 years and wanted to undertake this challenge to highlight that people with mental health issues can still perform incredible challenges such as this. She felt an affinity with Dame Kelly Holmes who won Olympic gold medals while dealing with her own mental health issues including self-harming before the Athens games in 2004. Knowing first hand the benefit sport can have on young people and their wellbeing, Sarah decided to support Dame Kelly and her Trust to enable us to support more young people over the year ahead and we’re very grateful for that support. You can hear more about why Sarah chose the Trust and also see some amazing footage of her swim in this video kindly created by Patrick who was one of her crew on the day.

If you are moved by Sarah’s story and wish to support the work of the Trust, Sarah’s sponsorship page is still open for donations. Following her monumental effort in Jersey, Sarah is taking a bit of a break for a while but we look forward to working with her again on an even bigger challenge in 2022!

If you feel inspired and want to get involved, you can also sign up to our Starting Blocks challenge and create your own adventure, head over to The Starting Blocks Challenge to find out more.