Schoolboy now only yards away from ‘channel’ swim

Haris Ali

Haris Ali

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Preston youngster Haris Ali has spent most of his school break splashing around in the pool.....but it’s been no holiday.

For the nine year old from Fulwood has swum the length of his local pool more than 1,300 times. Not for fun, but to ease the plight of children affected by war-torn strife in the Middle East.

Gaza: Haris Ali met boxer Amir Khan who tweeted about his swimming challenge

Gaza: Haris Ali met boxer Amir Khan who tweeted about his swimming challenge

The St Pius X Prep School pupil was touched by the horrific images he saw on the TV so decided to use his skills as a swimmer to raise money for the children of Gaza.

With help from his parents he devised a programme which entailed him swimming the equivalent of the English channel - at his local pool.

The youngster geared up to swim 21 miles, equal to 1,344 length, and set himself the task of getting sponsorship.

With just three swims left, Haris has raised more than £11,370 but is hoping with an extra push funds will swell to his target of £20,000.

After boxer Amir Khan tweeted about the swimathon the youngster saw the likes on his Facebook page soar to over 1050 likes and donations were boosted.

Haris said; “I felt really happy when Amir khan raised awareness of my swim, I thought it was very nice of him.”

Mum Munira Patel said: “Haris was hearing what was going on (in Gaza) and has watched the news with his dad a couple of times and was really upset and that’s how it all started.”

“He is just a normal nine-year-old boy who likes to play football, rugby and swim. He is sporty but is such a petite boy and is really throwing himself into this.”

The family set up Facebook and Just Giving pages to track his progress.

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