Keighley, West Yorkshire – Jan 2017

Christine Bradley has recently fulfilled her childhood dream to swim the English Channel and in doing so has raised over £1,650 for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

Christine from Silsden, near Keighley, completed the epic swim in just under 19 hours.
“Swimming the English Channel has always been a dream of mine,” said Christine. “My Dad brought home a tattered old book from the library called ‘It’s Cold in the Channel’ which he used to read to me and I told him one day I would do it.”

Christine loved swimming as a child but that all came to an end at the age of 12 when she was hit by an articulated lorry on her way home from school.

“My injuries were pretty gruesome and very nearly caused me to lose my leg,” said 50-year-old Christine. “With massive scars behind my knee I couldn’t face the embarrassment of going back in the pool or wearing shorts.

“This psychological block stayed with me for a further 36 years until my Dad got me into jogging and I started taking part in a range of running events and going to the gym – provided I could keep my legs covered.”

That changed in 2012 when Mum-of-two Christine was introduced to the sport of triathlon and plucked up the courage to start swimming again.

She soon rediscovered her childhood love of being in the water – so much so that she packed in her job as an IT Service Desk manager to become a fitness instructor and swimming and triathlon coach.