As time draws closer to our big swim I thought it would be a great opportunity to introduce you to team COSMIC Rays.
This is my team I will be spending my journey across the channel and back with and hopefully celebrating with on our return to Dover.
Parviz aka Eagle Ray is the reason we are doing this swim. He is the chairman of the charity COSMIC (Children of St Mary’s Intensive Care) and founded the children’s intensive care unit at St Mary’s Hospital (Paddington) 22 years ago. Since then he has driven the development of the unit to create a 10 bedded unit with state of the art equipment, care and research to help 500 critically ill children every year. He has been on a mission to raise over £50k for COSMIC to be able to fund vital equipment, support for parents, staff training and pioneering research that the NHS is unable to cover.
Paul aka Kiwi Ray (yes you are right there is no such thing as a Kiwi Ray but Paul is a Kiwi) and I swam together last year in our one way six person channel swim and is part of the team this year. Paul and I have swam together for years now and his humour is always good to have around the boat when things are getting tough.
Hilary aka Tiger Ray, I met Hilary last year whilst training one evening and she is the reason I am swimming this year. She planted the seed which grew and now is only a week away. Hilary is a speedy swimmer who loves to laugh so with Paul and Hilary around I am sure there will be plenty of laughter on board – it will be certainly be needed for the long tiring challenge.
Brian aka Shark Ray, Brian like Paul has been a great swim buddy of mine for years. We have travelled the country to swim in races over the years including River Dart 10km and a 14km swim from Henley to Marlow. Brian is our reserve swimmer but has been unbelievably committed despite knowing that he might not get to swim. He has however joined another relay team so his training and dedication won’t go to waste.
Aboard our boat we are also going to be joined by 17-year-old Patrick Kane, who was treated by Parviz and his team at St Mary’s Paediatric Intensive Care Unit when he contracted meningococcal disease in 1998. Patrick is going to be our official social media guru and will be sending updates from COSMIC’s twitter and Facebook account throughout the swim.
We also had some great news this week when Richard Branson one of the Trustee’s of the charity offered to pay the cost of the boat which is fantastic news. The second piece is that the BBC might be joining us on our swim as part of a series they are filming and will be aboard the boat catching our highs and lows on film – I’ll try to not be too grumpy! We are off to Shepperton on Wednesday for our last training swim and to meet the BBC crew. Exciting times!
Lastly we made the Daily Mail last week a short read but a little bit of fame for us and some great coverage for COSMIC – Daily Mail Article
As it stands today we will be heading off on Saturday, however, as you may remember from last year this may change closer to the time as the weather becomes more apparent but stand by for the call. You’ll be able to track us on one of the channel swimming websites when we go and watch us snake our way with the tide to France and back again. Time is ticking on….
Please don’t forget to donate it is going to be hard work and we do it for a great cause – your donations make us even more determined – Donate to COSMIC