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No swimming pool? No problem! Collier Row swimmer makes her own

PUBLISHED: 15:00 23 April 2020 | UPDATED: 11:41 28 April 2020

Sophie Allen is keeping herself in shape during lockdown. With a paddling pool and an elastic tether, she's created  a swimming pool that never ends. Picture Sophie Allen

Sophie Allen is keeping herself in shape during lockdown. With a paddling pool and an elastic tether, she's created a swimming pool that never ends. Picture Sophie Allen

Sophie Allen

A Collier Row swimmer has recreated the Royal Docks in her back garden with just a paddling pool and a climbing tether.

Sophie Allen contructed her swimming pool treadmill with just an Amazon paddling pool and an elastic climbing rope. Picture: Sophie AllenSophie Allen contructed her swimming pool treadmill with just an Amazon paddling pool and an elastic climbing rope. Picture: Sophie Allen

Sophie Allen, a 38-year-old events manager is swimming 2.6km to raise funds for London Air Ambulance, which is working around the clock to support nationwide efforts to manage the impact of coronavirus.

Normally Sophie’s pool of choice is the Royal Docks in Newham, a good seven degrees cooler than her paddling pool, “almost balmy in comparison,” she says.

She came up with the idea after seeing a few different posts on social media of people who already had this type of set-up in their gardens.

“I started to look at how we could do it too. A few Google searches and some swift Amazon purchases and we had all the equipment to have the pool in the back garden.”

For the tether, Sophie’s partner Tim, a keen climber, put together some paracord, a climbing clip and some elastic, found in their “stuff box”.

“In a way it makes sure my balance and stroke is up to standard as you need to stay pretty balanced while using the tether,” she says. “For once I am reaping the benefit of being quite short as the pool is just deep enough and long enough for me to swim comfortably!”

The 2.6 Challenge is to mark the London Marathon, which would have been held on April 26, and to contribute towards the catastrophic loss of charity funds that the marathon would have raised. It encourages anyone to raise money doing anything involving the number 26, whether it’s 2.6 miles or with 26 friends.

On Sunday, Sophie would have been at the marathon, cheering on the London’s Air Ambulance team of runners.

Sophie who works for London Air Ambulance, said: “They are here 24/7 for every one of the 10 million people who live and work in London. With the loss of the more traditional fundraising activities being stopped now is the time that charities like London’s Air Ambulance need support the most. Many people don’t know that the service is run by a charity.”

Support Sophie’s 2.6km swim here.


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