Student sets his sights on Channel swim

Published: 19 April 2006 at 10:40

A first year Film Studies and Drama student from the Arts Law and Social Sciences (ALSS) Faculty of Anglia Ruskin University’s Cambridge campus is aiming to become the youngest person to swim the English Channel this year.

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Edward Williams (19), who is keen to pursue a career in radio and television when he graduates from university, is making the most of all the publicity opportunities that are being offered to him in the run up to the challenge.

“There are just over a thousand people who have done the swim to date in history,”

explains Edward.

“About 30 to 50 people from around the world attempt it each year but around 70 percent of these fail. It is the Mount Everest of the swimming world but a lot more people have successfully climbed Mount Everest than have swum the Channel, which demonstrates what a challenge this is.”

“It’s all for charity so the more publicity I can get in the run up to the event, hopefully the more money I can raise.”

He added,

“I’ve never failed at anything, and I do not intend to start now.”

Edward hopes to complete the 23.69-mile sea swim, scheduled to take place during August, in just 10-14 hours. His challenge will see him dip into the sea at Folkestone and swim over to Calais in France. He will be swimming to raise money in aid of Prostate Cancer Research.  His father, a Harley Street surgeon, devoted a huge part of his career to the disease only to contract it himself. While his father has now beaten the disease it still affects 40 000 men in the UK every year. 11 000 of the cases are fatal. 

His tough training regime means that he puts in four hours of exercise around his day of studying which equates to around 40 miles a week in the water. He swims for 2 hours in the morning, and 2 in the evening but he loves the constant balance of studying and training. Edward also works as a DJ and somehow also manages to fit this in as well!

“It is this energy that I would, one day, love the world to be able to see in the form of entertainment. I have always been an entertainer and I will go to great lengths to ensure that I deliver my promise – and that is why I am up for this challenge.”

Edward is already an accomplished swimmer. He has been planning the swim since he was 14-years old. Last year he was the fastest 19-year old featuring in the National Masters Championship in Sheffield in the 200m backstroke and 50m butterfly.

Edward is living in Cambridge but is originally from Bedfordshire, where he was the youngest ever Captain of St Neots Swans swimming club at the age of 14.

Anyone interested in sponsoring Edward’s swim can do so at