Fourteen intrepid swimmers plunged into the Serpentine in London’s Hyde Park on Saturday to raise funds for Panathlon.

On a beautiful late summer’s day, the hardy fundraisers took on the two-mile challenge, which follows on from other Hurculean events completed this year by over 100 Panathlon supporters, including the London Marathon, RideLondon, Tough Mudders, fun runs, bike rides and triathlons.

The day got off to a flying start thanks to three of our youngest fundraising competitors – Daisy, Isabella and Emogene (pictured below) from Halstead Swim Club in Essex – who swam in the half-mile junior event.

Other members of the club had been due to take part in the Swim Serpentine event last year before it was cancelled due to the Queen’s funeral.

The day was the culmination of plenty of hard work for a special group of our fundraisers including Howard Scholes, Joe Bowtell, Jonathan Tart, Nick Austin, John Deakin and Sarah Evans. By swimming the Serpentine, they were completing their hat-trick of ‘London Classics’ – finishing the London Marathon, Ride London (100-mile cycle ride through London and Essex) and the two-mile Serpentine course.

Jonathan, Nick, John and Joe are pictured above (left) with their London Classic medals. Pictured on the right is Joe Bowtell and his brother Harry, a former award-winning Panathlon competitor who is now working for us as a trainee Event Manager.

“Completing the London Classics is the biggest accomplishment of my life so far,” said Joe. “It honestly wouldn’t have been possible without the support of Panathlon.

“My brother is an ex-Panathlon competitor and now apprentice. I hear from him on a daily basis how Panathlon put on sports events to support people across the country.

“Knowing your hard work is so important to so many children and families really was the drive that helped me complete the events.”

Howard Scholes said of the Serpentine challenge: “I was definitely apprehensive about the swim as I‘ve not really done any swimming for a long time and certainly not in open water over that distance! However, it all worked out fine in the end and it was great to do it for Panathlon – a wonderful charity that I’m happy to help and support.

“Out of the three London Classics, the London Marathon was definitely the hardest, with the 100 miles in May at Ride London being not too bad. I’d better get training now as my next marathon for Panathlon is in a month’s time!” (And you can sponsor Howard here!)

Many thanks too to our other swimmers, Sarah Evans, Bill Kelly and Javier Letamendi, for their superb fundraising efforts. Special mention must also go to Frankie Clark, a teacher from Newham in East London, who has so far raised over £1,000 with GiftAid additions (see her fundraising page here).

Click here to view a gallery of pics from the day as well as other events where our incredible fundraising have participated this year.

The 3 medals you need to qualify for the London Classics Medal (bottom centre) are the
London Marathon, Ride London 100 miles and Swim Serpentine 2 miles (above)