Ukraine crisis: UCLan swim team to swim the length of Ukraine to raise funds for the country

The swim team at the University of Central Lancashire are organising a sponsored swim covering the length of Ukraine, in order to raise funds for the country in its hour of need.

By Aimee Seddon
Wednesday, 2nd March 2022, 3:45 pm
Updated Wednesday, 2nd March 2022, 4:17 pm

As Russia’s invasion continues, UCLan’s swim team hope to provide essential equipment to the people of Ukraine, donating all the money they raise to the British Red Cross’s Ukraine Crisis Appeal.

In total their sponsored swim, which will be shared between the members taking part, covers 346.4 miles, equating to over 203 hours of swimming and 22,000 lengths.

Swimmer and first year paramedic science student Emily Kippax, who came up with idea, said: “You have to do something big to get people’s attention, you need people to ask why you’re doing it, because people know there's a war going on but not everyone knows the extent.

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The UCLan swim team are swimming the length of Ukraine to raise vital funds for the country.

“So I was hearing the news on it and I felt guilty that I wasn't doing anything. We’re just sat at home fine whilst they’re thinking is my husband going to come home? Is this food going to last me a week?

“People are losing their homes and lives and we will never be able to relate to that. The only difference between us and them is the luck that we were born into a different country, and as people with no power, there's nothing we can significantly do but I really wanted us to try.”

After settling on the swimming challenge herself, Emily said the team at first thought it was “crazy” and undoable, but she was quickly able to persuade 14 members to join in, with more getting involved as the week carries on.

The 20 year old from Southport added: “At the end of these people are caught up in conflict, and they need to be supported and protected so I thought, if we can help, why aren't we? At first I thought if we could just make £500 that’s great, we can get them some medical supplies, but as team we’ve managed to get well over £500 now.”

20 year old UCLan swimmer Emily Kippax came up with the fundraising idea, eager to help the Ukranians.

Emily set up a JustGiving page for the swim team’s challenge just two days ago and within that time they have raised over £1,200, with the page remaining open for donations over the next few weeks.

Amazed by the support so far, Emily said: “That money will provide medical supplies, food, water, shelter, and that won't just help the injured soldiers who are just trying to protect their country, but also the innocent civilians who need our help, especially the poorer ones who can't afford to get away, they just have to stay and endure it. We're very privileged so if we can help, the question is why aren't we?”

The sponsored swim by Emily’s team comes as UCLan’s student union also expressed their support for Ukraine in a joint statement by the SU officers.

The statement read: “We wanted to share a message of solidarity with our students and their families, who are being impacted by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. We hope and pray for peace around the world and for those suffering the consequences of war.

“As an organisation that works to bring people together and work collaboratively to create positive change, we absolutely condemn this act of aggression and violence. We know this is never the answer.

“As a Students' Union, our priority will always be ensuring the safety of our student community.

“As your Elected Officers, we want to assure you that we’re working with the University to make sure that we are supporting students affected by the terrible events happening in Ukraine.

“We will continue to be here and listen to our student members. We know the situation in Ukraine is constantly changing, therefore we will keep listening to the changing needs of our students. If you need us, we’re here for you.”

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