Permanent neck and back damage hasn’t stopped Norfolk vicar from swimming the Channel…12 times
Eleanor Reddington, 62, is an Aspire Channel Swim-ming veteran. Each year since 2003, the Methodist Minister based in Norfolk, has swum the Aspire Channel Swim to fundraise, securing over £17,000 along the way to help people with Spinal Cord Injury. That’s 12 Channel swims and 264 miles – the equivalent of swimming nearly the whole of England, from Manchester to Brighton on her own!
What makes it even more of an achievement is that Eleanor has a long term back problem herself, which means she needs to get around with crutches or on a mobility scooter and wear a surgical support collar for her neck.
But get her in the pool and any limitations wash away. In the last two years alone, Eleanor has swum the Channel twice, participated in swimming across the Solent -from mainland UK to the Isle of Wight - and completed the River Dart 10K, and all this done in her 60s.
“It all stems from two car accidents,” she says. “I was shunted badly on two separate occasions which left me with permanent spinal damage. Swimming however, has been a great way to strengthen my muscles and exercise and if you're going to do something, you have to do it properly. I’m able to swim a lot because I don’t kick much and all the power comes from my arms.
“Anyone can swim the channel! I went to my local pool and completed the 22 miles of the Aspire Channel Swim on lots of different days over a few months and I have signed up to do it each subsequent year!
“I’m now part of an outdoor swimming group, I crossed the actual English Channel in a relay team with Aspire in 2009, and I’m so proud that my injuries don’t stop me from helping other people.”