For most, swimming is merely a chance to exercise, but for Nikki Hambling it was the opportunity to raise money for charity through an epic feat of endurance.
Turning 50 last year, Ms Hambling, of Laxfield, who runs Orchid Fitness, challenged herself to swim 50 miles of butterfly over the course of 2017. The avid swimmer has been teaching people to swim for the last 35 years.
I have been overwhelmed by the messages of support and congratulations that I have receivedNikki Hambling
With first and last swims taking place at Stradbroke Leisure Centre, Ms Hambling said she was excited to embark on her challenged and is now pleased with the money she has raised.
“I am really pleased with the result and I feel I have become fitter. I have swum regularly last year at least once a week although most weeks it has been twice. I have worked on my aerobic and strength fitness which has helped me to avoid injury. I have spent a fair amount of time with tape on my shoulders though.
“I have lost count of how many times I have been congratulated on my efforts by other swimmers.”
Ms Hambling swam most of the swim at Stradbroke, including its Swimathon event, and with swims at other pools including the Olympic Swimming Pool.
The charities benefiting the more than £2,350 raised are Total, Aplastic Anaemia Trust, Anthony Nolan, British Heart Foundation, British Legion, Poppy Appeal, Marie Curie, Mind, and Tommy’s.
Ms Hambling added: “I have been overwhelmed by the messages of support and congratulations that I have received.
“I was extremely lucky to have a very good coach, who took time to work on my stroke as well as supportive parents. Swimming has always been a consistent part of my life, which has kept me fit and more importantly, a place to support me during the good and bad times.”
Len Pheonix, of Stradbroke Leisure Centre, told the Diss Express that Ms Hambling’s achievement was ‘astounding’.
For more on Ms Hambling’s challenge, go to orchidfitness.wordpress.com