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Ice baths helped Hornchurch boy, 15, lead record-breaking Channel swim

07:00 27 January 2014

Kieran, second left, and the team before the swim. Picture: Yopey

Kieran, second left, and the team before the swim. Picture: Yopey

Archant

A Hornchurch schoolboy who sat in nightly ice baths and pushed himself to his physical limit to raise cash for charity has been hailed in a competition for young unsung heroes.

Kieran led the record-breaking group across the ChannelKieran led the record-breaking group across the Channel

Kieran Goodwin, 15, of Abbs Cross Academy and Arts College in Abbs Lane, Hornchurch, led a seven-strong teenage team across the English Channel in a record time and raised £5,000 for charity.

His school has now put him forward for the John Lewis Young People of the Year awards for London (Yopey).

Teacher Laura Greenan said: “To meet Kieran you would never know of his extraordinary talents as he is neither boastful nor self-centred. He is a positive role model for the younger students in the school.”

Kieran and the team, all members of the Killerwhales Swim Club of Havering, decided in 2012 they would put their talents to good use and raise cash for Cancer Research UK and the English Federation of Disability Sport.

Every Sunday, the boys would travel to ­Dover harbour where they would swim around two hours to acclimatise to sea temperatures.

They also swam around 4km seven to nine times a week, and Kieran also sat in a bath of ice most evenings to help build his stamina.

“The stuff we put ourselves through was painful,” said Kieran, “and all of us at one point or another felt like giving up. But we kept on going. The charities kept us motivated.”

At 4.30am, on August 27, the first member of the team jumped into the sea at Dover and at around lunchtime the same day, the last member dragged himself out at Calais.

It took eight hours and 25 minutes, officially the fastest crossing by a team in 2013. They raised nearly £5,000 for the charities.

Charlie Fox, 16, of St Mary¹s Lane, Upminster, said: “Kieran stood out as a leader from the very start, pushing the team to do it and also researching the whole project.”

For more info go to yopey.org

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