I signed up for the cadet fundraising challenge when our unit asked us to think of a challenge that we could do ourselves to raise money for our new minibus. We had a lot of the money raised by other means, but we still needed another £2000 or so.
We had to think of the idea ourselves and carry it out. It could be anything. I chose my challenge and decided to do a 1.4-mile swim from Bournemouth pier to Boscombe pier. It’s longer than you think!
I have swum many times and probably even that distance, but this is completely different. For a start it’s much, much colder. The tides, if against you make swimming a lot harder and it feels like you are going one stroke forward and five strokes back.
I started out too shallow and swam deeper to avoid the groynes; these are walls built into the sea to prevent longshore drift. The good thing about these groynes is there are lots of them from Bournemouth to Boscombe and I used them to count down how long I had left. I knew how many there were because we parked at Boscombe and walked to Bournemouth before I started, so I counted as I went along. This helped me to think about the length of time I might have left to swim.
I didn’t have time to practice this swim because I had been so busy doing my first year of A levels. I would recommend that anyone doing something similar does practice a lot in the sea.
Myself and the other four cadets managed to raise £1242.55 by doing our challenges and this made buying the minibus a lot quicker.
Ordinary Cadet James
Winchester Sea Cadets