Galway swimmer to brave the English channel for charity

Galway swimmer Stephen Tummon will swim the English Channel to raise money for Cancer Care West. A swim of over 40 km, Stephen seeks to be the fifth person from Galway to complete this challenge. Only 2,000 people in the whole world have completed this challenge.

Making his way through cold water, stinging jellyfish, and currents with broad strokes, Stephen is determined to swim the entire 40 km of the world’s busiest shipping lane.

Inspired by Galway swimmers Dee Newell and Andy Flanagan, who swam the channel in the previous decade, Stephen has wanted to take on this challenge for himself for quite some time. Stephen tells me that “he has always liked to push himself”, wanting to carry on the legacy of local swimmers who undertook this endeavour.

The sea has always been a place of comfort for the Galwayman. Stephen has an unwavering love for sea swimming, sharing that the “peaceful head-space he achieves in the sea is a form of meditation” for him.

Undertaking this venture is no mean feat. It requires an immense amount of both mental and physical preparation. Stephen has consistently trained for 18 months, swimming five days of week, as well as going to the gym three days a week.

He has been doing a lot of swimming Salthill to prepare for his monumental swim. He tells me that Salthill is home to a supportive and vibrant community of swimmers, and he has thoroughly enjoyed swimming among them.

Stephen is hoping to swim the channel any day after July 4, depending on sea conditions and how fast those ahead of him are able to go. He is waiting for his day with much anticipation, but he admits he is nervous too as “the more you think about it the more it builds up in your mind and you can start on a roller coaster of emotions. I just try to live in the present, keep my training regime going and not dwell on either the past or the future. What will happen will happen, but right now I have done my prep and I am ready to go. While I recognise the enormity of the challenge, this is something I know I can do”, he says.

Stephen is a big supporter of Cancer Care West, telling me that they are an admirable Galway charity who have helped a lot of people he knows. In fact, Stephen’s childhood love for sea swimming was reignited because of Cancer Care West, owing to their Frances Thornton memorial swim in Galway Bay. “It is only right that I continue the tradition of raising money for Cancer Care West via people plodding up and down the prom in their speedos”, Stephen says with a laugh. He says that the charity have built a great community for swimmers, adding that “sea swimming in Galway wouldn’t be what it is without Cancer Care West”.

All funds raised from Stephen’s swim will be donated to Cancer Care West.

To donate to Stephen’s inspiring fundraising effort for Cancer Care West please go to 1442809_stephen-tummon-s-page.html

You can listen to more about Stephen’s preparations on podcasts he is doing as part of Chris Place’s Therapy Talks series. These can be found at R1Vh7jB7nkHVh4


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