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How Bishop’s Cleeve Primary Academy pupil Darcy Howchin is helping to raise money for Sport Relief

All Areas > Sport > Swimming

Author: Roger Jackson, Posted: Wednesday, 14th March 2018, 09:00

Darcy Howchin, fifth from right, with some of her Bishop’s Cleeve Primary School friends ahead of their two-mile sponsored swim on Sunday Darcy Howchin, fifth from right, with some of her Bishop’s Cleeve Primary School friends ahead of their two-mile sponsored swim on Sunday

Young Darcy Howchin is going to great lengths – well over 100 of them in fact – to make sure that she does her bit for Sport Relief this year.

You see Darcy, a nine-year-old with a wise head on young shoulders, has organised a sponsored two-mile swim and, with a little help from her friends, is hoping to raise £500 for the annual cause.

“It was all her own idea,” said proud dad Neil. “She’s always been an avid sports fan and has always been inspired by Sport Relief and just wanted to do something to help raise money.”

There’s every chance that the final sum collected will be more £500 – “£400 has already been promised,” said Neil – although Darcy, a year 5 pupil at Bishop’s Cleeve Primary Academy, and her pals have got to complete the challenge first of course.

“There’s 16 of them taking part,” said Neil, “including her eight-year-old brother Freddie. They’ll swim 128 lengths in total which means each of them will swim eight lengths.

“I reckon it will take them a couple of hours to complete the challenge.”

Darcy, a county standard swimmer who competes for Tewkesbury Swimming Club, will be the first person in the pool at St Edward’s School when the challenge gets under way at 10am on Sunday.

“A couple of her friends from Tewkesbury Swimming Club are taking part but most of the others are in her class at school,” said Neil.

“She realises swimming is for everybody and invited her school friends to join in as well. They don’t have to be in a swimming club because Sport Relief is all about getting people into sport.”

Sport is something that Darcy, who lives in Bishop’s Cleeve, has been involved in for most of her life. As well as being a very good swimmer – her best stroke is freestyle over 50 and 200 metres – she is also a triathlete and plays rugby at Cheltenham North.

Like his big sister, young Freddie is also a swimmer and triathlete, but he prefers the round ball to the oval ball, playing football for Bishop’s Cleeve Colts Under-9s, the team coached by his dad.

Dad will be at poolside on Sunday – and so will mum Carolyn – along with many other friends and relatives of the swimmers taking part.

They have been given free use of the pool by Jezz Rutt, who owns Aqua Zone Swim School.

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