After the safety briefing, it was down to business for the group of swimmers, who had to complete the 100m swim including rest time, in an allotted time of either 1.45 – 2.15, a mere fifty times! A number of swimmers were experiencing the Sea Lanes pool for the first time and on a day that it was impossible to get in the sea, were hugely impressed with the facility.

Some of the participants were seasoned swimmers, used to the format, and some were completing the challenge for the first time.  Regardless of experience, the camaraderie amongst the group was outstanding. The volunteers provided encouragement throughout the set (in addition to trying to keep count of the 50 reps) with the only complaint that the jelly babies got a bit soggy in the rain!

Highlights included Andy Tester (SwimTrek) joining at the last minute ‘for a few of the hundreds’ and staying for the whole set. The 1.45 lane staying in the water to cheer the other lanes on for the final 100’s,  the 2.15 lane smashing it so that they switched their time to 2.05, two swimmers from the 2 minute lane completing the challenge for the very first time and Ben Fearnside completing the entire swim breast stroke, with his whole lane team swimming in him for the last 50 metres – teamwork at its absolute best! It was amazing to see so many smiling faces and the sense of achievement for so many of the swimmers.

Afterwards the swimmers enjoyed well deserved coffees and food in the FIKA café and new connections were made! Once the initial fatigue had been overcome with hot chocolate and coffee – the repeated question was ‘when is the next one??’ – stay tuned for details of new events coming in 2024.

Thank you to all the South Downs Leisure staff at Sea Lanes who supported us in pretty challenging conditions, South Downs Leisure for allowing us the pool time and space and all the swimmers for your efforts and teamwork – it was a truly enjoyable morning and most importantly raised some much needed funds for two local social enterprises and

Looking forward to the next one!

Fiona Mildner, SeaSure Brighton