Blind swimmer from March to take part in Great East Swim

Simon Wilkes

Simon Wilkes - Credit: Archant

A MARCH man will be one of the first blind swimmers to take on the Great East Swim later this month.

Simon Wilkes, of Causeway Close, March, will be part of a field of 3,000 swimmers who will compete in the one mile open water event at Alton Water Reservoir on June 22.

The event is televised on Channel Four and participants include celebrities and Olympians.

Wilkes said: “I’m a very keen open water swimmer so I’m really looking forward to the event.

“Not many events give you the opportunity to do something you really like and raise funds at the same time.

You may also want to watch:

“What more could you want?”

Wilkes, who is blind from birth, will be doing it to raise money and awareness for the London Sports Club For The Blind.

Most Read

As chairman of the charity, he is passionate about giving other visually impaired people the opportunity to enjoy sport.

He said: “Some sports, like blind ten pin bowling and blind football, have decent participation but other sports, like open water swimming and riding, are not as accessible as they should be.

“We aim to promote and provide visually impaired people with the opportunity to participate in sporting, recreational and social activities.

“This aim extends to all blind and partially sighted adults and children regardless of their level of vision.

“We want all visually impaired people to have opportunities to experience and develop an active sporting and social life.”

He is swimming with his friend Simon Smith, who will help him navigate through the water,

Wilkes said: “He was looking for someone to do open water swimming with and I wanted the same thing as well, so it is a good partnership.”

To find out more about the charity go to

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter