A man from Tywyn in Gwynedd is swimming 44 miles to raise vital funds for Diabetes UK Cymru. That’s twice the length of the English Channel. Only he’s swimming this distance at the Bro Dysynni Leisure Centre.
George Watson, 61 is doing the swimming challenge of the year, Swim 22, between 22 February and 22 May but decided to take it up a notch. “I like pushing myself, so I thought I would do 44 instead of 22 miles, while raising money for a good cause, close to my heart, as both my parents have type 2 diabetes. I started swimming a year ago when I realised I needed to regain mobility after a knee and ankle injuries that made my arthritis worse. I decided to turn things around. I first chose swimming as it is low impact but now I am also in the gym 5 mornings a week doing weights as well as cardio”.
George worked in the leisure industry and felt he already knew how to get his fitness back: “I am now semi-retired and have more time to improve my targets on Swim22. It’s not a race, but I already ahead of my target of doing five miles a week. It’s good to have targets and share goals and tips on the online group. There’s a real sense of community.”
The latest figures show that 198,883 people are living with a diabetes diagnosis in Wales and 90% of those have type 2. Wales has the highest prevalence of diabetes in the UK (7.6%).
Diabetes is a condition where there is too much glucose in the blood because the body cannot use it properly. If not managed well, both type 1 and type 2 diabetes can lead to devastating complications, including sight loss, amputation, kidney failure, and stroke. With the right treatment and support, people living with diabetes can lead a long and healthy life.
Dai Williams, National Director of Diabetes UK Cymru said: “We are delighted that George is making a splash for Diabetes UK. Swim22 is perfect if you want to challenge yourself to get fitter at your own pace and in your own time. You can swim in your local pool alone or, better still, get your family, friends, and colleagues involved. Our dedicated team will be on hand to support you from start to finish.”
To sponsor George Watson please visit his Swim22 page.