March schoolboy makes a splash for the Meningitis Research Foundation

16:42 28 August 2014

Harry Copeman (9) who is doing a swim of 5 miles 320 lengths for Meningitis.

Harry Copeman (9) who is doing a swim of 5 miles 320 lengths for Meningitis.

Archant

March schoolboy Harry Copeman caused a splash for charity when he completed a five-mile swim at the town’s George Campbell pool to raise money for the Meningitis Research Foundation.

Nine year old Harry was diagnosed with pneumococcal meningitis at just three months old and wanted to do something to thank those who had helped save his life.

Local MP Steve Barclay was poolside to cheer on the plucky nine-year-old, who is believed to be one of the youngest people to undertake such a mega swim.

Harry, who is the son of Chris and Sadie Copeman of Ash Grove, completed 320 lengths of the March pool, to raise money.

He has been swimming since he was three and has been a member of March Marlins swimming club for the past year.

Proud dad Chris, who has set up a Just Giving page so people can sponsor his sporty son, explained that Harry spent three weeks in hospital and made a full recovery, although he was under a consultant for two years afterwards.

His family have regularly raised money for the Meningitis Research Foundation and Harry decided it was his turn to do something.

Mr Copeman said: “Just before his ninth birthday at the start of August he said he wanted to do something for charity. When we asked what he wanted to do he suggested a five mile swim.

“We have been in contact with the Amateur Swimming Association because we think he is probably the youngest person to complete the challenge, but they haven’t come back to us.

“But whether he is the youngest or not it is still a massive thing for him to undertake. He started at 9am and completed the 320 lengths by 1pm.

“He didn’t have any real breaks, although he did have a few quick stops to have a drink and eat some sweets to keep him going,” his Dad said.

So far Harry’s splashing effort has raised £550 for the charity.

Mr Barclay said: “I was delighted to add my support to Harry. It is an incredible achievement for someone so young to undertake such a long swim and the fact he has done it in aid of charity is really great.”

To sponsor Harry visit: https://www.justgiving.com/Chris-Copeman1

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