Radio Star Channels Energy Into Epic Swim...
Updated: Nov 9, 2018
Reporter: MARINA BERRY
Publication: Oldham Chronicle Date published: 26 October 2011
Big Al’s mighty charity challenge LOCAL radio presenter Big Al isn’t quite swapping the radio waves for the ocean ones but he’s still setting himself a rip-roaring target after vowing to swim the equivalent of the English Channel.
Instead of taking to the high seas, the 96.2 The Revolution presenter will tackle the 21-mile challenge in the confines of Crompton Pool, along with his fundraising pal, John Gillam.
John (63) and Big Al (42), who is married to Joanne Nield, duty manager at the pool, are undertaking the feat to raise money for their own charities.
John will donate his takings to Dr Kershaw’s Hospice and Parkinson’s UK. Big Al is swimming for the Al said: “I’m aiming for 21 miles in 21 days. I haven’t trained for it. I’m not called Big Al for nothing, and there is a possibility I won’t be able do it. It only takes a pulled muscle or a bit of sickness and I won’t be able to go in the pool.”
He vowed, however, that he will complete the distance, however long it takes, and although the duo will swim together as often as they can, John has a few days on holiday to come which means he will get behind if Big Al manages his mile-a-day pledge.
Each mile is 72 lengths of Crompton pool, where Big Al taught swimming 20 years ago, where his mother taught before him, and where his 16-year-old twin daughters are training to be swimming teachers.
John retired from the police force after 30 years as a constable in Manchester, and has just retired after 11 years working at Crompton Pool, latterly as a recreation supervisor.
A keen swimmer, he is relishing the prospect, and said although a mile was well within his daily limit, doing it day after day with aching muscles will be the challenge.
“I don’t know how much we will raise, we may have to twist a few arms,” added John.
Anyone who wants to sponsor the pair can fill in a sponsor form at Crompton Pool or call 0161-621 3262.