Members, Isabella, aged 4, and her mum Amanda have just completed a fabulous swimming Challenge55, raising money for Potential Plus UK. Read more from Amanda about why they got involved and how their challenge went.

Our Challenge: I’ll swim 55 lengths/day my 4 year old will do 55/week for Potential Plus UK because of the funding gap created over the last 2 years.

We are fairly new to Potential Plus UK and became members to access all the electronic resources, plus a whole host of other things. We feel like we fit in really well and have joined some Facebook groups and attended one of the Explorers Meet Ups.

The member email at the end of July was about Potential Plus UK’s fundraising goal and invited people to get involved in Challenge 55. I don’t normally get involved in such things, but we have been helped by Potential Plus UK, Isabella (4) was about to finish nursery and had some swimming plans, so thought we could do this. Being in water is Isabella’s happy place and is a very good swimmer for her age. I pondered for a short time and thought 55 lengths was way too much for Isabella and not a big enough challenge for me, even though I hadn’t been swimming in many months and would only ever do 40 once a week/fortnight/month. I decided that over 7 days would be logical and that I’d do 55 a day and Isabella agreed 55 over a week would be fun.

Isabella had lessons planned for most of one of the week’s in August so we chose that; getting our small child to swim lengths in a public pool during a family/fun session (the only time a small child can go swimming locally) would be pretty impossible. I swam evenings at lane swim sessions. My sister persuaded me to do an open water swim on day 2, but Isabella was sad she wasn’t allowed to come. Once we realised she would be ok to go there, we scheduled another one in for day 7 and we finished our challenge with an open water swim together, along with my sister and brother-in-law which was amazing!

By day 3 I was exhausted and wanted to quit, but my husband, who was ill for most of the week, got out of his sick bed and motivated me to get out to my swim session.

It was tough, logistically and physically, but we thoroughly enjoyed it and smashed our targets!

young child swimming in a swimming pool

Day 1

Day 1 and the start of a tough week. Isabella did 10 lengths, I did 64 with a ridiculously early start to get to the early bird session (IMO). Bit of a shock to my system when I haven’t been swimming in ages!

Amanda and brother-in-law open water swimming in a quarry

Day 2

Day 2 of 7. Isabella gets a day off and I do my first open water* swim (with my bro-in-law), so not exactly lengths but an equivalent distance.

young girl swimming in swimming pool

Day 3

I did 63 lengths and Isabella did 11. My arms are feeling it today. Distance 1.73km

young girl swimming

Day 4

Isabella did about 14 lengths and I did about 64. I really struggled today, wanted to get out after 6!  Distance 1.6km

swimming pool

Day 5

Isabella did 9 lengths and lots of fun things this morning. I was awoken from my exhausted slumber on stand-in-putting-child-to-bed-duties by a sick husband (can’t be that sick!) and sent on my merry way. Distance 1.45km

young girl in shark hat swimming

Day 6

Isabella was fab and she did 16 lengths, I only did 56! 1 day to go and so hard but progress has been made! I no longer need to stop after 2 or 4 lengths!

Open Swim at a quarry

Day 7

I swam partly with Kathryn around the quarry, kept going off track because I cannot swim straight and it was choppy! Saw some fish which was amazing. Distance 775m

Young girl in wet suit standing next to open water swimming quarry

Day 7

I thought Isabella might try to get to the first buoy, make it half way then want to go back, but no, right to the other side and back is what she wanted. She said the water was ice cold. So very brave! Didn’t swim because the big depth was scary, but clung onto a tow float and kicked all the way and back. Very impressed!

*Find out more about how to take part in open swimming safely and suitable venues at

If you have been inspired by Amanda and Isabella’s efforts to undertake your own Challenge55. See our website page Challenge55 for more information about how to join in. Please let us know what you are doing so that we can share your effort and achievement widely.

child reading to an adult