A determined teenager will battle the elements and push herself to the limits when she takes on the challenge of a lifetime to swim across the channel in the name of charity.
Ingrid Laubscher,16, has joined a charity relay team who will tackle the athletic feat across the English Channel in July and help her fulfil a lifetime ambition.
The Balsall Common teenager is the youngest in her team of six swimmers who will take it in turns to make up the miles between England and the French coast on behalf of Diabetes UK.
Ingrid, who has already racked up distances of around 2k in outdoor races and swim events, said it was always her dream to go one step further.
And currently studying for her A levels at Stratford Girls’ grammar school sixth form, she is now preparing to get training to make sure she can make the distance on the day.
“I have loved swimming from a young age and have always had a yearning to attempt swimming the English Channel,” said the teenager.
“I decided to combine my dream with supporting a charity that makes a difference and chose Diabetes UK. This would be the perfect opportunity to attempt my dream before I attempt a solo swim in the future.”
Ingrid was selected for the team following a rigorous selection day in Dover last September, where she competed against other hopefuls to impress - and all on her very first time swimming in the pen sea.
“This was a challenge in itself, as I have never swum in the ocean before,” she said.
“In a field of about 70 men and women trying out, I was the second youngest.”
And she described the whole experience as “exciting” as time ticks on and the challenge gets closer.
She is currently training indoors, but will swim twice a week in open water at Ragley Hall Lake later in the year.
The swim is around 20 miles depending on the route, and so each team member will have to make up between three and four miles each to complete the distance.
And all to bring in at least £1,450 for the charity to help continue work across the UK.
Fundraising events alongside the swim will include a cheese and wine event at Leek Wootton village hall on April 5, where an auction and raffle of prizes will all help boost the kitty.
To attend, email Ingrid at email@example.com to get more details or tickets.
Or visit www.justgiving.com/Ingrid-Laubscher to make a donation and support her swim to help Diabetes UK and their work.