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A YOUNG lad from Melksham just cannot stop swimming for charity as he tackles his second long-distance swim, this time swimming the length of Loch Ness.
Last year local boy Ciaran Hanks raised more than £700 for Wiltshire Air Ambulance by swimming the width of the English Channel – 35.18km – over three months in local swimming pools.
This year, Ciaran, aged 11, has embarked on a second challenge to raise money for the MS Society, aiming to swim the equivalent length of Loch Ness – 36.33km – by Christmas Day, which is a monster 1,454 lengths of a 25m pool.
When Melksham News caught up with Ciaran on Friday 8th December he had only 23 lengths of the gruelling distance left. These last lengths however were very special to young Ciaran as he managed to convince some of his favourite players from Melksham Town FC to join in with him.
Ciaran is an avid MTFC fan and also plays for his age group and very much sees himself as a member of the ‘black and yellow family.’ Ciaran said, “I feel really good, quite excited to be swimming with the players from Melksham Town FC. I go to pretty much every game, so it’s nice to have them here.”
In the pool with Ciaran was First Team manager Kieran Baggs, along with chairman Darren Perrin, top goalscorer Gary Higdon, Ben Thomson, Ollie Webb, Mike Perrott, Keith Kirk (better known as Kiosk Keith), committee member Andy Butcher and swimming instructor Sarah Phelps. He was also cheered on by president Mick Perrin and his wife Jenny, Tina Butcher and players Sayeed Ibrahim and Jamie Lyons.
He was also joined by Andy Jarrett, the co-ordinator for the MS Society, who was thoroughly impressed by Ciaran’s fundraising efforts.
After now completing the full 1,454 lengths of the Loch Ness, Ciaran’s fundraising total for both swims is over £1,100 for charity, and he has also inspired others to do the same.
To find out more about Ciaran’s efforts, visit his Facebook page: www.facebook.com/CiaransLochNess Adventure/. To donate, visit www. justgiving.com/fundraising/lochness adventure