Melton schoolboy completes English Channel swimming challenge

Charlie Goddard (15), a pupil of Melton's Long Field Academy who swam the English Channel as part of a charity challenge EMN-190815-170137001
Charlie Goddard (15), a pupil of Melton's Long Field Academy who swam the English Channel as part of a charity challenge EMN-190815-170137001
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A Melton schoolboy has helped raise nearly £3,000 for charity by taking part in a swimming relay challenge across the English Channel.

Charlie Goodard, who attends Long Field Academy, swam two legs in choppy waters as his six-strong team completed the 21-mile journey from Dover to northern France in just under 11 hours.

Charlie Goddard (second from right on front row) with his team-mates and support crew prepare to set off from Dover on their cross-channel swim EMN-190815-171515001

Charlie Goddard (second from right on front row) with his team-mates and support crew prepare to set off from Dover on their cross-channel swim EMN-190815-171515001

They set off at 8.45am on Monday and reached Cap Blanc Nez at 7.45pm.

Proceeds from their gruelling efforts will go to the Aspire charity, which supports people who have suffered spinal cord injuries.

Charlie said: “It was so much harder than I could have imagined.

“I found the first time in the water really tough, I seemed to get cramps straight away in my legs but I swam through it.

Umer gets out on the coast of northern France after completing the cross-channel fundraising swim EMN-190815-171526001

Umer gets out on the coast of northern France after completing the cross-channel fundraising swim EMN-190815-171526001

“The second time in, the weather had turned and it was a lot more choppy in the sea although the water seemed a lot warmer.

“I was exhausted but enjoyed my second swim more than the first.”

Charlie is a strong swimmer as a member of the Leicester Neptune Swimming Club but he admitted the Channel swim was much tougher, with far colder temperatures than heated a swimming baths and vessels passing by regularly on the world’s busiest shipping lane.

The aim was for each swimmer in the team to stay in the water for around an hour for each leg with members, beforehand, doing some acclimatising training in Dover harbour.

The route swum by Charlie Goddard's relay team from Dover to northern France EMN-190815-171546001

The route swum by Charlie Goddard's relay team from Dover to northern France EMN-190815-171546001

“Swimming as part of a relay team gave me an extra push as I didn’t want to let anyone down,” said Charlie.

“I was relieved, excited and really happy when my colleague Umer reached the French coast.”

On his fundraising efforts, he added: “Aspire explained what £2,000 could do and went through the spending options and how it makes a difference so I’m really happy to feel I have made a difference.”

Charlie Goddard's cross-channel swimming effort EMN-190815-171536001

Charlie Goddard's cross-channel swimming effort EMN-190815-171536001