Rose Hawkins swims English Channel

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Tue 26 Sep 2017 - posted by Willen Hospice

Without the support from our local community we couldn’t provide the specialist end of life care we do for our patients and their loved ones. We caught up Rose who recently swam the English Channel from Dover to Calais, to raise funds for four charities, one of which was Willen Hospice.

We asked Rose a few questions on how she prepared for the epic swim and why she chose Willen Hospice as one of her charities.

Why the English Channel?

I’ve always been a swimmer and wanted to swim the English Channel since a very young age and to me it represents the many difficulties I’ve had to overcome; that’s why I chose this particular challenge. Plus I thought it would be amazing to swim to France!

Why Willen Hospice?

I chose to support Willen Hospice because I wanted to support a local charity and I know the huge support Willen Hospice offers to families at very difficult times. They made the final days of a very close family friend as comfortable as can be at such a difficult time.

How did you train and prepare?

In preparation I aimed to swim 21 miles every week, this included lots of pool swimming, drills and sets in the pool through winter and cold showers. I started sea training in April/May 2017 and tried to get to the beach as much as possible to swim. To qualify for the Channel you have to complete a 6 hour qualifying swim in water less than 15.5 degrees which I completed at the beginning of June in Bournemouth. In July I also trained in Windermere where I did a two way swim of the lake (21 miles) which took 13 hours! Throughout the duration of my training my diet had to alter; I’ve had to eat a lot of carbs and protein and was told I would need about 5,000 calories a day.

Now you’ve completed your challenge what will you do with all your free time?

I am not sure what to do! I think I will have a break and then get back into swimming - but maybe at a lighter level from now on!

Do have any more challenges geared up?

Yep – planning a Channel Celebration Party!

One day I’d like to do a Channel Relay with a team, I think it’d be good fun.

How did it feel to stand on those rocks once you got to France?

Absolutely incredible, overwhelming and very surreal all at the same time!

It was dark when I got there so I couldn't see the rocks very well but had to be clear of the water so I made sure I climbed out and then just kept on thinking I was in France - I will never ever forget the feeling although it felt like it wasn't really real and still feels like a dream!


If you feel inspired by Rose’s epic challenge and fantastic personal achievement, why not find out how you could take on a challenge and support our care? Click here for more info. 

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Rose Hawkins swims English Channel

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