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Nairn physio feels ‘very prepared’ for Channel relay swimming challenge with £2500 raised for charity


By Federica Stefani

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Ashleigh Bulcraig during a training session ahead of the Channel Relay challenge.
Ashleigh Bulcraig during a training session ahead of the Channel Relay challenge.

In only four weeks Nairn physio Ashleigh Bulcraig (43) will take on an epic swimming challenge in Dover to raise funds and awareness for a spinal cord injury charity.

After months spent training in the swimming pool and Nairn waters, as well as raising awareness and a whooping £2500 for the charity Aspire (so far), she said she feels prepared to take on the English Channel relay on the last week of July.

The challenge will see Ashleigh as part of a team of six swim from Dover to France, with participants taking turns one hour at a time.

The team undertaking the challenge.
The team undertaking the challenge.

Ashleigh, who has now completed three training weekends in England and is the only Scottish representative on the team, said: “The weekends have got progressively harder with the last one trying to simulate three swims of one hour and a quarter with an hour's rest, three times!

“We woke up on Sunday for a 6.30am swim and then another a couple of hours later. Having done all my training in Nairn the water temperature in Dover is a few degrees warmer so I haven't had such an after-drop as the rest of the team when I get out the water.

Ashleigh at the training session in Dover.
Ashleigh at the training session in Dover.

“A couple of months ago when I started, I was most concerned about my hands and feet getting cold but after all the training I've realised the issues are sore shoulders and a swollen tongue from the salt content in the channel as well as the unpredictability of the sea.

“I feel very prepared for the relay swim now and I'm looking forward to enjoying the experience when it happens.

“I'm pleased I've managed also to raise awareness about the charity Aspire and all their work towards rehabilitating patients with spinal injuries.”

A mother-of-three and a keen swimmer, Ashleigh said it feels great to support such a worthy cause.

“It felt very special to me because I’m a physio and I am used to doing neurological rehab,” she said. Also to do something for spinal injuries and at the same time do something that’s challenging and worthwhile. For my children to see me and to keep doing these things as I get older, that’s what keeps me going!”

You can support Ashleigh’s cause on her Just Giving Aspire fundraising page.

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