In The Swim - Part 2

Next May, a team of licensing execs will take on the challenge of swimming around the Maltese Islands to raise money for The Light Fund. In his second column, Stephen Gould, co-managing director of 4Kids, updates on the team's progress...
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With seven months to go until we grace the Maltese waters with our Blighty honed and toned bods, the swim team currently stands at 12, with a reported two more joining us from The Children's Trust, one of the beneficiary charities of The Light Fund.

Effectively, the team is more of less complete and over the coming weeks we will each take it in turns to write this fortnightly blog.

With overseas travel, Brand Licensing Europe and Mipcom, the training has taken a bit of a back seat of late, however, for those of us in Cannes, the sea was simply too inviting to be ignored. In we plopped and up and dowm we sped alongside the French Riveria's aging aristocracy with their poodles on lilos.

Many of the team members have joined local swimming clubs in their preparations for next May and from many quarters a lot of us are being asked to participate in the World Cold Water Swimming Championships at Tooting Bec Lido in February 2008 - where the water will be specially chilled with refridgeration units and ice to a balmy three degrees centigrade.

The coldest I have ever swum in was 11 degrees centigrade and I nearly lost the will to live! Indeed, it was so cold that my muscles rapidly contracted and I dislocated my shoulder pulling myself out. Admittedly, it was Christmas Day, it was snowing and some would say I deserved to spend the next 48 hours in a festive A&E with morphine and a general anaesthetic. Needless to say, water temperature this low renders all and sundry asexual within minutes - it should be a laugh.

So, why do we put ourselves through such torture, many of you reading this will ask?

It's simple really - it's about rising to a challenge, pushing the limits, extending the boundaries and getting an adrenaline buzz that is both unique and intoxicating.

The first group introductory meeting for the Maltese Islands team will be on Saturday November 3rd at Hampton open air pool in Bushy Park, beside Hampton Court Palace. Aside from meeting fellow team members and learning more of what lurks ahead, we'll also take a dip - this time, however, the pool will be heated too an eye wateringly warm 28 degrees centigrade.

There are still two support crew positions left for the trip and we would welcome interest from any philanthropic souls with general logistical expertise - and a stomach for the old briny.

Personal sponsorship forms will be ready shortly c/o the kind generosity of Red Central in Bristol and we would still welcome support from corporate sponsorship as well. Commercial packages start at £500 and go up to £2,500, although more on this later.

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