ACT/UCT gives support to channel swimmer

Staff ~ The Southwest Booster
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When local swimmer Meghan Chisholm announced she was going to attempt to swim the English Channel this summer she needed two things, time to train, and support for her cause.

ACT/UCT members Biss Wiskar (left) and Herb Butz (right) present Meghan Chisholm (centre) with a cheque for $500.  Chisholm is swimming across the English Channel this summer, and raising money for type 1 diabetes research. 

She got plenty of the latter on June 4 as the Swift Current ACT/UCT donated $500 towards Chisholm’s fundraising efforts.  The Swift Current Aquatic Centre lifeguard is using the swim as a chance to raise funds for the JDRF, an organization that supports type one diabetes (T1DM) research.

“We want to donate our money to the people and children in Swift Current,” ACT/UCT treasurer Bess Wiskar said.  “It should go to the diabetes association on behalf of the Swift Current club and Meghan.”

Chisholm, who is busy training for the mid-July swim, said she’s happy for any support or awareness she can garner about T1DM, which affects around 300,000 Canadians.

“I thought that (JDRF) was a good charity and we do have a small community that’s working really hard with that group.”

Chisholm will be one of four people swimming the channel at that time.  She’ll have to swim a little over 34 km, which should take her around 14 or 15 hours, all of it in 15-18 C temperatures.  For comparison, the temperature in the Aquatic Centre pool is 29 C.

“Coldwater,” she said with a chuckle when asked to name the obstacles and challenges.  “The distance is one of the factors too.”

Despite the physical demands of such a swim, Chisholm emphasized the mental aspects as well, such as maintaining focus and a positive attitude.

“Physically I’m ready, but mentally it’s going to be a challenge,” she said.  “I haven’t been through that yet.”

All the hard work and preparation wasn’t lost on the ACT/UCT members who presented the cheque either.

“She’s going to work hard for (the donation),” Wiskar said with a smile.  “That’s the way we look at it.”

Originally founded by travelling businessmen, the ACT/UCT is no stranger to sponsoring charities or swimmers.  In addition to the various local charities they support, they also help fund the Swift Current Stingrays swim team, of which Chisholm is a former member.

Wiskar said it’s not very often a Saskatchewan resident attempts a swim like this, and they wanted to support that attempt.

“We just wish her all the best,” he said.  “It’s a big job that she’s picked to do and we felt that it was only fair that we help her out.”

Organizations: Swift Current Aquatic Centre

Geographic location: Swift Current, Saskatchewan

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