Boy, 12, swims 75km in a month to ‘make grandad proud’
PUBLISHED: 12:33 21 January 2020 | UPDATED: 13:37 21 January 2020
A 12-year-old from Norfolk who “wanted to make his grandad proud” has swum 75km in the space of a month.
Tyler Whiting, a schoolboy from Surlingham, near Norwich, completed the feat as part of a swim school's challenge to raise money for an Alzheimer's charity.
In October, pupils at Raindrop Swimming were tasked with swimming a certain distance over the course of the month, with all sponsorship money going to Alzheimer's Research UK.
Owner Lorraine Savory came up with an idea to use Swim the Distance for fundraising while on holiday in Northern Ireland, and chose the cause because of her father's experience.
Her dad, 76-year-old David Savory, was diagnosed with dementia six years ago and was moved into a care home in Dereham two years later.
Swim the Distance allows participants to select a milestone that they want to reach in the water over the course of a month with many in the group managing five, 10 or 20 kilometres.
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One six-year-old was the first among the pupils to reach 5km, while another who had just turned five managed 2.5km.
Miss Savory herself took part in the challenge, reaching 30km over the course of the month, but she says her total was "made to look rubbish" by the 75km swam by her nephew Tyler.
She said: "My nephew is so close to his grandad. They used to be joined at the hip - where there was one there was the other. He said he wanted to do it for grandad. He wanted to make him proud.
"Dad had a really bad fall in October where he broke his hip and they operated. They said that he might not survive it but he did, but then he went back to the care home six days later and he dislocated his hip, so he's bedridden at the moment.
"October was a really rubbish month but I kept thinking 'I'm just doing this for him, even if he doesn't make it to the end of the month I'm still doing this, no matter what'. I wasn't giving up."
Altogether, the swim school covered 321,500km and raised £1,350.43.
Miss Savory said: "I'm absolutely amazed. I never thought in a million years we would get anywhere near that."
Her twin sister Suzi is also involved with the group, and said: "I am proud of all my swimmers for their amazing achievements."
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