Challenging swims for military staff and students

17 April 2016

Staff and Junior Soldiers from the Army Foundation College in Harrogate will swim the distance of the English Channel, 21 miles, at the Hydro in Harrogate on Wednesday 13 April 2016 to raise money for ABF The Soldiers’ Charity and prepare for future challenges.

The charity provides grants to soldiers, their families and over 80 partnering agencies. Their aim is to help with all areas of welfare support for serving soldiers or veterans.

Jim Duffy from ABF the Soliders’ Charity said:

We are very lucky and grateful to have the Army College support the charity.

Although this is the staff team undertake the swim, it is with the support from many of the junior soldiers.

Having the junior soldiers involved only helps to get them aware of and involved with the charity. We hope that this leads to future involvement with us.

The College, based in Penny Pot Lane, has entered a staff team to swim the real English Channel in July 2016.  This involves six swimmers, covering 21 miles, in 15 degree water without wetsuits.  When they actually swim the English Channel, the five military staff and a civilian swimming teacher at the college will complete hour long stints in the relay.

The College has swum the English Channel in previous years and have a best time of 13 hours 55 minutes which this year’s swimmers hope to beat.

Swimming at the Hydro will be significantly warmer for the team but it is an excellent opportunity to conduct some distance swimming in the pool.

LCpl Darren Wright and Company Sgt Mayor Gav Petrie

It also allows the Junior Soldiers to be involved and to use this opportunity as part of their training for the Great North Swim at Windermere on 12 June 2016, along with the Channel Swim team. The staff will complete a two mile swim in the lake and the Junior Soldiers a half mile swim.

Chief Instructor, Major Edward Boag


Chief Instructor, Major Edward Boag said:

We have a team of 6 for the cross-channel swim and we will each do around 1 hour swim before handing over to the next swimmer.

The junior soldiers have been at the Hydro pool with us today, but won’t be with us during the final swim.

We would welcome all sponsorship on our just giving page.

The Army Foundation College is in Harrogate and trains 16 and 17 years olds to become Junior Soldiers for the various Corps and Regiments of the British Army. The College delivers a combination of education, military training, leadership and initiative training, and sports and skills to over 1,000 Junior Soldiers every year.

In swimming the Channel, the College is raising money for ABF The Soldiers’ Charity.

If you wish to donate please log on to

Video from the Forces TV, used here with thanks to them.



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