It was sink or swim for ex-Worcester Warriors star Alex Grove this week who completed a 21-mile trial distance ahead of his solo English Channel crossing for charity.
The retired sportsman will be making a real splash for Acorns Children’s Hospice this summer by swimming the world’s busiest shipping lane.
And in preparation for the epic challenge, the father-of-two took the plunge with a practise swim at David Lloyd Worcester yesterday (Wednesday 5 August), clocking up a staggering 1,334 lengths in 11 hours.
Alex was supported poolside by Warriors official Player Ambassador for Acorns Niall Annett and Men’s Captain GJ van Velze and Ladies Back Row Taz Bricknell, who both joined him in the water for a few lengths.
Niall said: “As someone who has done some very grueling fitness sessions, this is something I can’t comprehend. Mentally and physically this is one of the toughest things I’ve ever seen anyone take on. He deserves a lot of credit and we’re all here to support him the best we can.”
GJ said: “Supporting Alex in the pool I thought I’d swim with him a few lengths. I only managed 50 and I’m shattered! But I came to support him because he’s doing it for such a great cause; Acorns is close to our hearts.”
Taz added: “Anyone that puts their hand up to be in a swimming pool for 11 hours in a row is some sort of hero in my eyes. It’s an amazing thing that he’s doing.”
Yesterday’s superhuman effort saw Alex’s fundraising total reach an incredible £13,000.
Alex had this message for supporters: “I’m hugely grateful for the generous donations that everyone has made. I’ve seen first-hand where the money goes and the difference it makes. Acorns is a crucial cause and one that I really care about.”
The 32-year-old, who is a familiar face at Acorns for the Three Counties based in Worcester, announced ambitious plans to swim the English Channel for the charity in December.
The challenge will see him make the journey from Dover to Cap Gris Nez in France on August 1.
Mel Hall, Area Fundraiser for Acorns, said: “We are all in complete awe of what Alex has achieved here. To swim for 11 hours straight is incredible.
“We’re beyond grateful that he has chosen to support Acorns, raising both crucial funds and awareness of the work we do. It’s only thanks to people like Alex who go that extra mile that we are able to continue to be there for the children and families who need us.”
Acorns Children’s Hospice provides specialist palliative care for children and young people with life limiting and life threatening conditions as well as support for their families.
In the past year, the charity has cared for more than 780 children across Worcester and the West Midlands, and supported over 1,220 families, including those who are bereaved.
It costs £27,000 per day to provide Acorns care and support services and the charity relies on generous donations and fundraising by the local community for the majority of this amount.
To sponsor Alex for his English Channel swim visit his JustGiving page: www.justgiving.com/alex-channel-swim
To find out more about how you can support Acorns, please visit www.acorns.org.uk/support
For more information or for interview, photograph or filming opportunities, contact the PR and Communications team:
David Chamberlain: 01564 825020 / 07817 612422 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Nicki Robinson: 01564 825062 / 07814 302153 / email@example.com
Notes to editors:
Due to the sensitive nature of Acorns care services it refrains from using the words ‘terminal’ or ‘terminally ill’ in its press releases and public communications when describing the children who use Acorns and the conditions that they have. Instead, Acorns uses the words ‘life limited’, ‘life limiting’, or ‘life threatening’. Acorns kindly requests that you respect this in your communications when referring to Acorns Children’s Hospice. Acorns children have a lot of living to do. Thank you.
• It costs £27,000 every day to run Acorns services providing care for children and support for their families. The charity relies heavily on donations to fund the majority of its activities.
• To find out more about Acorns, please visit www.acorns.org.uk