Swimming the Serpentine for Sporting Memories

We’re always excited when individuals and communities take on epic challenges to fundraise for Sporting Memories. In September, mother and daughter duo Sam and Alyx McSharry will be taking on the Swim the Serpentine challenge for us!

Sam and Alyx are a mother and daughter combination that are used to taking on amazing physical challenges for good causes, but this year’s has more meaning for Sam.

“So, I’ve done the Swim the Serpentine before,” Sam began; “But this time I am doing it with daughter Alyx. Alyx is 21 and in September she is heading off to Australia to go travelling for a year.

“We’ve run the London Marathon together before, but this is the first time we’ve done the Serpentine together, so it’s just something nice we can do as a pair before she heads off to Australia. I’ve done the Marathon three times and I’ve done the Ride 100 three times, so my aim is to complete the Serpentine this year and next, so I get my third Classic Medal and then I will retire!”

“If you do the London Marathon, Ride 100 and you do the Swim Serpentine you end up on the Hall of Fame and you get the London Classic Medal – it’s a massive gold medal and you end up on the Wall of Fame in the London Marathon building. Alyx and I already have a Classic Medal and we’re now going for our second Classic Medal!”

Taking on these challenges with her daughter is something Sam is really proud of doing, having raised significant funds for charities supporting those living with cancer in the past. Now they are focused on this year’s Serpentine and donating towards Sporting Memories.

“It’s been great to inspire Alyx to achieve this herself, and as we’ve been doing these events raising money for charities, we feel like we’re getting close to draining everyone we know! We’ve raised over £15,000 over the years, so it’s been fantastic to not only do this alongside my daughter but to also raise money for some worthy causes.

“I’ve set-up my JustGiving and I’m just looking for someone to start the donations rolling in for Sporting Memories, so I’d urge anyone who can just to donate anything they can, as all of it will inspire me and Alyx to swim the Serpentine.”

Sam recently attended our Scottish Volunteer Celebration Event up in Broxburn alongside her Husband Peter, in their roles as senior staff at Iron Mountain. Sam was inspired by the event to use her Serpentine swim to support us following her time spent learning about our work.

“My husband Peter is the Head of Operations for Iron Mountain across the UK and Ireland and works alongside Charlie Watt, who has supported Sporting Memories in Scotland recently.  Charlie invited Peter and myself along to the recent event Sporting Memories did with its volunteers.

“That was my first exposure of what they do and whilst at the event I thought wouldn’t it be great if I could combine my fundraising for this next Swim the Serpentine to support Sporting Memories.

“One of the things I learned at the event is that how people never really forget the sporting activities they did when they were young. Alyx and I are quite active so it put into my mind how important those memories can be in later life.

“I found the event fascinating and I came away knowing why Sporting Memories can be so important to people in later life and I would like to help in this way and hopefully raise lots of money.”

The Serpentine challenge also comes with its downsides as Sam rounded up her time with us by stating: “The thing with the Serpentine is that it is absolutely filthy! When you’re swimming in it and you open your eyes, you can’t see anything in the water as it’s pretty much pitch black. It’s that bad that when you get out of the water they advise you to drink coke to kill off the germs. When I swam it before the lady I did it with ended up with an upset tummy – so the challenge itself is a bit rank!”

If you can, please support Sam and Alyx by donating to their JustGiving page ahead of the challenge in September by visiting this page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/samantha-mcsharry

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