Sheerwater’s Andy Brett to take on the Solent

22nd Jul 2019
Andy - sponsored swim

Andy Brett, a Fenestration Installer and important member of the team here at Sheerwater Glass, has been training hard in preparation to take on the Solent, a 20-mile strait separating the Isle of Wight from England’s mainland. Andy is doing so in order to raise money for the Motor Neurone Disease Association, a British charity set up to help sufferers of motor neurone disease (MND).

What is motor neurone disease (MND)?

Motor neurone disease describes a group of diseases that affect the nerves (motor neurones) in the brain and spinal cord. MND causes messages from the motor neurones to gradually stop reaching the muscles, causing them to weaken and deteriorate. It can affect everything from someone’s thinking and behaviour to how they talk, eat, and even breath. However, not everyone experiences it in the same way and its various symptoms also progress at different speeds.

Affecting up to 5,000 people in the UK at any one time, the disease is life-shortening and currently, there is no cure for it. The symptoms can, however, be treated to improve quality of life.

Why Andy is swimming the Solent

Andy has wanted to swim the Solent for the past couple of years but never had the push. Sadly, a friend of his was recently diagnosed with motor neurone disease. So, after finding out that there was a Solent swim being held by the Ian Pratt Foundation, another MND charity, Andy decided the time had come for him to get out there and do it.

What he has been doing in preparation

Despite juggling a family and work, Andy has been training at Cranleigh Leisure Centre 3 nights a week, swimming between 3-5km each time he attends. Although he tries to eat healthily, Andy ‘likes his food’ so dieting has not been a big part of his training regiment, so to speak. However, in order to take part in the Solent swim, participants had to complete a 5k swim within 2 and a half hours. Andy completed it in an impressive 1 hour and 38 minutes, so maybe healthy eating isn’t the way to go after all?

What the sponsored swim will involve

Depending on the tide, the swim will be between 2.5 and 3 miles in length, which is around 5km. Of course, swimming in the ocean is a totally different ballgame to swimming in a pool and having never taken part in a swim like this before, Andy is understandably nervous. Here’s what he had to say:

“I don’t really think what I’m going to do has sunk in yet. I’m excited, nervous, watching YouTube 24/7 trying to get tips on anything that can help me.”

However, the one thing driving him on is “getting to Gosport from Ryde and seeing my family and friends and the people that I’ve swam for.”

Andy will be undergoing his sponsored swim on the 25th of July 2019. So, if you’d like to sponsor him, you can do so on his just giving page, which is accessible via the following link: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/andrew-brett3