Wednesday, 16 July 2014 15:05

Swift Current teen will attempt to swim English Channel

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Meghan Chisholm’s grandfather served in France after the 1944 Invasion of Normandy.


While in France, Denis Chisholm and a friend once looked across the English Channel and Mr. Chisholm asked if he thought they could swim to the other side.
Both said no, laughed and walked away. 
Now 70 years later, Meghan is training to swim the Channel. When I asked her why she’s giving herself this challenge, she answered, “I always wanted to see how far I could push myself.”
Meghan, 19, says this feat has been a life-long dream. She also wants to raise money to fight juvenile diabetes.
Meghan will start in Dover, England and swim towards France. She isn’t sure exactly where she’ll land on French soil because the current will influence her route.
Dover and France are 34 kilometres apart, a distance Meghan expects to swim in about 12 hours.
Meghan and her family left for England July 17 and will return on July 29. The weather will determine which day she begins her swim.
Chisholm never thought he’d have a granddaughter who’d swim the Channel, but he’s proud of her and confident she’ll succeed.
“She’ll do it,” he says. “No problem there.”
Chisholm indicated that both Meghan and her brother Jonathan are great athletes.  It was only after Meghan announced to her grandfather that she planned to swim between England and France that he told her he had once contemplated it.
Born and raised in Swift Current, Meghan graduated from the Comprehensive High School. She played a lot of sports while in school, but swimming is her favourite.
“I love it. I find it really relaxing.”
Meghan also says she loves to teach kids to swim.
At present, she works as a lifeguard and swimming instructor in Swift Current.
She’s also a coach on the Barracudas swim team.
Her training began in November and since then Meghan has been swimming progressively longer distances and doing upper-body weight lifting. She has already completed a 34-km swim indoors and covered the distance in 12 hours.
Meghan knows of other Canadians who’ve completed the journey, but to her knowledge no one from Saskatchewan has ever swam across the English Channel.
The challenges Meghan anticipates are the current, cold water (only 15 to 18 C) and possibly jellyfish which can sting, but Meghan says the stings aren’t always noticeable and are more of a nuisance than a danger.
Children and young adults affected by juvenile diabetes aren’t able to convert food into the energy that is needed to sustain their life.
Symptoms include excessive thirst and hunger, weight loss, frequent urination as well as extreme fatigue. There are ways to manage the condition, but the cure has yet to be discovered. 
To learn more about Meghan’s journey or to donate to her fundraising campaign, go to: http://jdrfca.donor drive.com. Click on “Fundraise Your Way” in the blue bar at the top of the screen and then click on the orange rectangle that says “View Current Challenges.”
Best of luck to you, Meghan. Your journey inspires us. 
(Dominique Liboiron is a speaker, author, teacher, journalist and photographer. For more information about his speaking engagements, phone 306-661-8975 or visit www.canoetoneworleans.com.)

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Dominique Liboiron

Dominique Liboiron is a speaker, author, teacher, journalist and photographer. To raise awareness about heart disease and to honour the life of one of its victims, Liboiron canoed from Saskatchewan to New Orleans. He is the first person to undertake that journey. He enjoys outdoor sports such as camping, hunting, fly fishing and canoeing.