Frisby physiotherapist sets his sights on tough swimming quest

Neil Meadows swimming in Lake Windermere PHOTO: Supplied
Neil Meadows swimming in Lake Windermere PHOTO: Supplied

A physiotherapist from Frisby is aiming to complete a unique feat this summer by swimming a two-way crossing of Lake Windermere.

Forty-four-year-old, Neil Meadows, who works in the MSK Outpatients Department at Loughborough Hospital, is taking part in the gruelling BLDSA (British Long Distance Swimming Association) Two-Way Windermere Championship on Saturday, August 12.

His taxing challenge will see him swim two lengths from Ambleside to Fell Foot, round a buoy and back again, a total of 21 miles (exactly the same distance as the English Channel).

Neil said: “Windermere is the largest body of water in England (10.5 miles long, one mile wide and 70 metres deep in places).

“The race is overnight so I will be setting off at 5pm, the swim will take anywhere between 12-14 hours. The rules are pretty simple. One pair of speedos, one hat, one set of goggles. No getting out for a rest!

“I will have a support boat with me, to throw me drinks and food and help me navigate in darkness. I’m not allowed to even touch the boat!”

The NHS professional is no stranger to open water swimming having competed in a number of events, including Coniston Water 5.25 miles, Ullswater 7.5 miles and Windermere One-Way.

He added: “I like the outdoors and love the physical challenge of these swims.

“There’ll be a field size of 10 this time and some of the best long distance marathon swimmers will be taking part.

“I’ve trained hard. I’m not expecting to win, but I’m not wanting to be last either.”

Neil is raising money for Parkinson’s UK in support of his dad who is managing the disease and The Silver Line, a helpline who support isolated and lonely elderly people. He has already raised £1,200 for this charity from a previous swim in 2015.

To donate, visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=NeilMeadows