British Olympian Richard Burrell Starts Wessex Cancer Trust’s Swim for Hope

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Photo by Luke Bender on Unsplash

British Olympian Richard Burrell Starts Wessex Cancer Trust’s Swim for Hope

Richard Burrell, a British Olympic swimmer, has teamed up with Wessex Cancer Trust for the Swim for Hope event in September.

The event will mark the 40th birthday of the Wessex Cancer Trust with a 1.3-mile swim across the Solent Strait between Hurst Point in Hampshire and Colwell Bay on the Isle of Wight. Burrell will be the starter for the event, which has signed up 40 swimmers. The swim will take place on Sept. 4.

Burrell, a native of Southampton, swam on a pair of relays at the 1984 Olympics that made the final. Burrell won relay medals at the 1978 Commonwealth Games in Edmonton and the 1982 edition in Brisbane, where he pulled down two silver medals.

The Swim for Hope is being organized by Mike Sizer-Green, the manager of the Cancer Wellbeing Centre in Newport on the Isle of Wight. Sizer-Green survived a battle with a brain tumor in 2013. Michelle Salsbury, a volunteer at the Centre, is also organizing the event. Both will take part in the Swim for Hope.

“Whilst swimming the Solent is a huge challenge in itself, it’s important to remember that this represents way more than a sponsored swim,” Sizer-Green said in a press release. “That stretch of water, to me and so many others who have traversed it day after day for cancer treatment, represents a major hurdle. It’s a daily challenge – a nightmare sometimes, and often the reasons why some may elect not to undergo treatment.

“Organising an event like this is a huge undertaking, and we’re particularly grateful to everyone who is helping to support us from a logistics and safety point of view; particularly Dave Lutas of the Isle of Wight Canoe Club, the Freshwater Independent Lifeboat, Needles Pleasure Cruises, Associated British Ports and the various safety kayakers who will be escorting the swimmers.”