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Loretta Cox to swim Bristol Channel for Martha Trust of Hacklinge, Deal

A woman of 65 will swim a total 15 hours for charity.

Loretta Cox will take the challenge at the Bristol Channel to raise £2,000 for her former employers, the Martha Trust near Deal.

Loretta Cox. Picture: Martha Trust(44422802)
Loretta Cox. Picture: Martha Trust(44422802)

She will cross the 11 miles of sea on August 21.

Mrs Cox said:"I will be the oldest person to swim this body of water. As the currents are strong it will feel more like 28 miles."

Mrs Cox worked for the Martha Trust at Hacklinge, which supports people with profound disabilities, from 2014 to 2017 and now lives in Cornwall.

She was originally an accomplished London Marathon runner but an accident in 1995 ended her running career and she turned to swimming.

She explained:" I recalled seeing a youth greased up and about to start his English Channel attempt and I said to myself that one day I would do that.

'The swim is 11 miles but will feel like 28.'

"Within an hour I had found the association that dealt with the English Channel, spoke to the chairman who then put me in touch with Alison Streeter the world record holder with 32 crossings.”

Mrs Cox Loretta started swimming five days a week with Alison and doing two master classes.

In April 1995, she met all the other Channel aspirants on Dover beach and trained through that summer but then contracted cancer.

Mrs Cox took time out for surgery and then did two Channel relays followed by a solo swim and then another two relays.

She went on to swim Loch Ness and around Manhattan Island in New York.

The Bristol Channel. Picture Google Maps (44432755)
The Bristol Channel. Picture Google Maps (44432755)
Loretta Cox. Picture: Martha Trust(44422745)
Loretta Cox. Picture: Martha Trust(44422745)

By the time Mrs Cox worked for Martha Trust she became a Channel swimming coach.

In 2014 she also wrote a book about er experiences, In at the Deep End.

Mrs Cox had a knee replacement in January but will be able to swim again in April, competing in a six-hour qualifier in June.

She said: "The swim will be part of my training and a very strong test of my fitness. This one is for you, Martha Trust."

The charity became the Dover and East Kent Mercurys' cause for 2020.

Marth Trust: the Mercury's Charity of the Year 2020
Marth Trust: the Mercury's Charity of the Year 2020

Martha Trust spokesman Kerry Banks said: “Loretta is anextremely inspiring and an incredible lady.

"We are so very grateful that she will be fundraising for our guys and girls at Martha Trust, we wish her a speedy recovery from her knee replacement and lots of luck with her training.”

You can sponsor Mrs Cox on her Virgin Money Giving page uk.virginmoneygiving.com/LorettaCox2

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