A GROUP of explorers swam the channel— without leaving their home town.

Rotherham’s Explorer Scouts, known as the “Xtreme Explorers,” successfully completed a Challenge the Channel event at Maltby Leisure Centre. The team covered a distance equivalent to the width of the English Channel in less than four hours.

They are still collecting sponsorship money for the swim, but the takings have already totalled over £200.

Debbie Day, the Explorer leader who organised the event, said: “Events like this help us to raise the vital funds needed to be able to undertake a packed programme of activities throughout the scouting year.” The inspiration for this particular challenge came from Debbie, who downloaded an app for her iPhone called SplashPath, which is designed to enable people to record swimming workouts and keep track of their progress.
The app also outlines a number of challenges—one of them being Challenge the Channel. Debbie had the idea of putting the challenge into action and suggested it at an Explorers’ meeting, with each swimmer to complete one mile of the distance.

The team not only successfully completed the 21 miles of the challenge, but clocked up 2,008 lengths of the pool in total, measuring up to 31.3 miles, as individual swimmers pushed themselves further. With the funds raised by the challenge, the Explorers want to buy lightweight tents or stoves for their treks, which will be of particular use to those members doing the Duke of Edinburgh Awards.

The Xtreme Explorers are a very busy group and undertake a variety of challenges and in June, they will be tackling the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge. They have seven units, meeting weekly throughout the borough at Brecks, Brinsworth, Maltby, Swallownest, Swinton, Wales and Woodsetts.

Debbie said: “Although our youth membership is growing, we are on the lookout for more adult help to support us with our events and programmes. “We are looking for people who can give up just a few hours each week to help us— whether that’s helping us with activities or planning and participating in our weekly meetings.”

Any 14 to 18-year-olds who would like to join the Explorers in Rotherham, should email Michael Greenhaugh, Explorer Scout District Commissioner, at [email protected] and to help out as a leader, contact Debbie Day at [email protected][email protected].