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Naro to spend 24 hours in swimming pool for charities

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A SWIMMER is set to take to the water for 24 hours to raise money for two local charities.

The target is in his goggles. Naro Zimmerman has challenged himself to swim for 24 hours in September to raise funds for the Eleanor Foundation and This Is Epic.

Naro Zimmerman will be taking on the challenge at the Baubigny Schools pool in September to raise money for This Is Epic and the Eleanor Foundation.

Swim24 will start on Saturday 7 September at noon.

Mr Zimmerman was a friend of Ellie Carey, in whose name the Eleanor Foundation was started, and has previously completed a triathlon to support the charity.

The foundation has helped thousands of people to get access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene projects.

This Is Epic helps groups to establish village savings and loans projects in Africa.

Endurance swimmer Ross Edgley swam around Britain and is a source of inspiration for Mr Zimmerman.

‘Ross said that when he got out of the water the skin on his hands and feet came away because it was so saturated,’ he said.

‘So my skin’s not going to be great afterwards. I’ve also heard that your hair can fall out, which isn’t going to be a problem for me, unless my eyebrows go.’

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He is training for five days a week in the pool and two days in the gym, but is also researching the mental side of the challenge.

‘Physically it’s going to be hard, but mentally it will be harder,’ he said.

‘At some point your body gives up but often people will stop before they get to that point because mentally they give up.

‘I’m trying to get myself to a point where I can stop processing a lot of thoughts, because I find when I’m doing longer sessions in the pool my mind’s quite busy, that’s when I find it harder.’

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He said the purpose of the challenge would keep him going.

‘Yes, it’s going to hurt when I’m swimming and it’s going to be tough, but it’s out of choice and I’ll be waking up in my bed the next day and will have running water coming out of the tap, so there’s no comparison really, but I think there is quite a good parallel in terms of what the guys and girls in Africa go through in a 24-hour cycle, just to live,’ he said.

Mr Zimmerman and his fiancee Sara are getting married at the end of the month. He said she had been hugely supportive.

‘She’s given the green light for me to train while we’re on honeymoon,’ he said.

Allister Carey, Ellie’s father and founder of the Eleanor Foundation, said: ‘We’re thrilled that Naro has decided to take on this amazing challenge in order to support not just our projects but also those undertaken by This is Epic.

‘What he is doing is nothing short of inspirational and we will be using every penny raised as a result of his efforts to deliver better health and opportunities for some of the world’s most needy people.’

Funds raised from Swim24 will allow the Eleanor Foundation to develop the Shallow Well Programme, delivering clean water to rural communities in Tanzania.

Louise Smith, of This Is Epic, said: ‘We love this crazy challenge, in fact the crazier the better, as it is all about pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone and seeing what you are capable of.’

She said the funds would be used to help communities in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Juliet Pouteaux

By Juliet Pouteaux
News reporter

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