Kebbell’s sales and marketing director, Andrea Fawell, will form part of a relay team of six, as they bid to help Paula Craig become the first person with a complete spinal cord injury to swim the English Channel without a wetsuit.
Working as a team, it will take about 14-18 hours to cross the Channel. The team is raising funds for Aspire who helped in Craig’s recovery after a road accident left her paralysed from the waist down.
Craig, 56, from Pembrokeshire, was working for the Metropolitan Police in London and was a marathon runner and triathlete when she was paralysed after being hit by a car while on her bike in 2001.
She is planning to swim the Channel as part of a relay team of six who will take turns to swim for an hour each.
“Twenty years ago this year, my life changed in an instant when I was hit by a car whilst out cycling, leaving me paralysed from the waist down, she said. “As a police officer and marathon runner, I had no idea what the future would hold. To mark the anniversary of the accident and celebrate the achievements of the past 20 years, I have decided to take on the waves, the cold water and the fatigue to raise vital funds for Aspire, with my wonderful friends.”
Commenting on the forthcoming momentous and emotional challenge Fawell said: “My heart rate goes up just thinking about what we will face out there, the choppy waters, the cold, the dark, the jellyfish, the sea sickness. We will suffer. We each have to swim for an hour with a five minute window for the swap over to the next swimmer. Practical issues such as giving Paula safe passage in and out of the water have to be rehearsed time and time again.
“Picture in addition to that, over 600 vessels go up and down The Channel every day as it is the busiest shipping lane in the world and you can get a huge wash from the ferries, cargo container ships, leisure boats and police boats. One of my biggest fears is a car ferry bearing down on me. All these challenges will be even greater for Paula, but she really is fearless and her steely determination is so impressive. She is also one of the strongest swimmers on the team!”
“Doing endurance challenges tests how you operate under stress and focuses on shared values and appreciating and utilising each other’s abilities, which are all very relevant to the workplace too. I am going to Iceland in November to start training for my ski trek to the North Pole in April 2022 but that’s a whole other story.”
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