‘Inspirational’ disabled swimmer discusses latest challenge at Hornchurch school

09:00 06 April 2014

Disabled swimmer John Willish with students from Abbs Cross Academy, Hornchurch

Disabled swimmer John Willish with students from Abbs Cross Academy, Hornchurch


An “inspirational” disabled swimmer visited an academy to talk to pupils about his latest fundraising effort.

John Willis visited the Abbs Cross Academy, in Abbs Cross Lane, Hornchurch, to discuss his 50:50 challenge, which has seen him swim 1,000 metres in a number of pools.

His aim is to travel the distance in 50 different schools within 100 days.

Mr Willis, who was born without fully-formed arms and legs, undertook two swims with Year 7 pupils at the school, with teacher Lee Raftery joining them for the first and Paralympian swimmer Charlotte Hartin for the second.

He also led an assembly for Year 7 and 11 students, speaking about his life and the work of his charity – Power2Inspire.

PE teacher Nikki May, who organised the visit, said: “John Willis is a truly inspirational man, with a truly remarkable story.

“He really has inspired and motivated our students to always strive to do their best and never give up in the face of adversity.”

For more information on Mr Willis’ charity, visit


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