I have finished my swim and I have celebrated my 50th birthday year by raising the following amount of money , for the following 7 different charities.

 Aplastic Anaemia Trust £214

Anthony Nolan £158.58

British Heart Foundation £302.20

British Legion Poppy Appeal £130.33

Marie Curie £228.93

Mind £213

Total £1246.74

Tommys £856.03 ,

This included money raised with my Husband when we ran the Brighton Marathon and 10k ,as well as my Butterfly swim.

Here is the links to the charity I am currently supporting,if you would like to make a donation.

The Aplastic Anaemia Trust

http://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/nikki-hambling6

I can take cash donations in person ,if you prefer.

I have been overwhelmed by the messages of support and congratulations that I have received .I have been reflecting on how I feel about the swim today . I am really pleased with the result and feel that I have become fitter.I have swum regularly this year ,at least once a week although most weeks it has been twice . I have worked on my aerobic and strength fitness which has helped me to avoid injury. I have spent a fair amount of time with tape on my shoulders ,though !

Swimming is often perceived as a solitary sport. I have been reminded of how rewarding and supportive it has been ,swimming with others as part of an organised session. I have lost count of how many times I have been congratulated on my efforts by other swimmers.

I swam most of the swim at Stradbroke swim and fitness centre with a couple of swims at other pools , when I have been travelling. I learned many years ago that swimming will always give me common ground to make a conversation . Swimming Butterfly often creates a reaction similar to this  ‘wow ,you make that look effortless’.

I was extremely lucky to have a very good coach ,who took time to work on my stroke as well as supportive parents .This allowed me to enjoy the challenges swimming threw my way .It has always been a consistent part of my life ,which has kept me fit and more importantly ,a place to support me during the good and bad times .I was very lucky although I didn’t appreciate this fully when I was younger!

I had a lovely moment yesterday during the final part of my swim, when I turned around after my first length to see 10 fellow swimmers accompanying me . Their abilities all varied and they all gave it 100%.

Butterfly is often seen as a hard stroke to master so I hope that I can continue to inspire more people to try it out.

I started this swim for many reasons ,one was to challenge myself to see if I could maintain a skill I learned as a child .I feel that is a memorial to my coach who died a few years ago.

I have taught many people to swim in the last 35 years .I hope that some of them will continue to practice the skills they have too.It’s never too late to try . One fellow swimmer swam a length with me for the first time. Another has practiced during the year and has made big improvements .

I dedicate this swim to John Moore ,my coach ,Rachel Edwards and Hayley Adams .

Thank you all for the support this year. Bring on 2018 and the next challenge

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