OW Swims the Channels for Aspire Charity

I have many fond memories of my eight years at Whitgift from 1988-96, and it was wonderful to reconnect with so many friends from that time at our recent 20-year reunion.

I tried to take full advantage of the many opportunities, joining everything in sight in the beginning, from apiarianists to water polo. Gradually that got whittled down in various ways – Mr Vincent was good enough to pretend to look disappointed when I removed my tone deaf vocal skills from the choir!

I was more suited to swimming, and fondly remember Barking Bob Brown, the cigar smell of his office, his box of spare swimming trunks and his habit of calling me “chunky” (was it just me?).

I never brought in any silverware for the school, but it gave me a good grounding and set me up with a pastime that’s been a big part of my life. Over the years I’ve been upping the distance and this year on (or about depending on tides) 17th July, I’ll be swimming as part of a team across the channel to France.

I’m incredibly excited about the prospect of crossing one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world, in water just above 10 degrees! The rules are very clear that no wetsuits are permitted.

I’ve been a police officer for 18 years and I’ve seen first-hand how peoples’ lives can change in an instant. I’m incredibly lucky to be able to contemplate this extreme physical challenge. Every 8 hours someone suffers a spinal injury for which there is no cure. Their lives have changed dramatically in an instant and everyday tasks we do without thinking become real challenges. Aspire is a UK registered charity who support those who have suffered a spinal injury, with adapting their homes, workplaces, counselling, helping them navigate benefits systems.

I’m swimming to raise money for the incredible work Aspire do; your donation can make a real difference so please pledge what you can. https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/oliver-little1

Ollie Little OW (1988-96)