After taking part in our 1891 Challenge in 2023, Michael decided to challenge himself even further by completing ALL four of the 2024 Make a Splash distances (10km, 25km, 50km and 100km)! Michael, 73 is a retired soldier who is keen to share has motivation and swimming tips inspiring everyone to dive in and make every km count! 

“I try to keep fit by walking everywhere that I can, especially with my dogs. I run when I can and swim virtually every day - I have run and swum all of my life.

I am an RLSS UK open water lifeguard (OWL) for the Toddbrook Open Water Swimmers (TOWS), part of Glossop Triathlon Club here in the High Peak. I try to swim at least a kilometre most days of the week in open water, the unheated spring water lido in Matlock and odd pools in Buxton (if the weather is bad and it is not safe to swim outdoors).

I signed up for the Make a Splash challenge, hopefully, managing 100km, not just to keep me fit and healthy but to try to help the RLSS UK make our waters safer not only to save lives, but importantly to educate people in the dangers of water. 

My motivation is easy. I need to keep fit for myself but more importantly so that I am easily able to carry out my duties as an OWL, knowing that I'm able to carry out the task but also knowing our swimmers trust me and feel safe in the water when I'm on duty.

Having been an early riser for all of my life, getting up early and starting the day with a swim is motivation in itself. Also, as an older person my motivation includes helping people realise that swimming has no age limits, if I can swim then you can too!

Swimming is not just good for physical fitness but really helps mental health, especially open water swimming. Swimmers are nice people, who want to chat and help if they can - often just with the offer of a hot drink!

I would recommend Make a Splash to anyone, it helps you to stay fit, improves your swimming and safety, helps you to meet other like-minded people from all walks of life, while raising money for the important work of RLSS UK. If my participation in the swimming challenge helps to educate children on the dangers of water and saves just one life it is worth it.”

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