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Wow! Niamh Does It For Us And For Her Sister

Thirteen year old T.P Properties’ swimmer, Niamh Robinson from Darwen, took part in the ‘Mencap Mile’ this weekend in Windsor’s prestigious Olympic and Paralympic Dorney Lake.  She first became aware of the swim after we advertised it on our Facebook page last month.  ‘At first, Niamh was not exactly thrilled with the idea of taking part having never swam outdoors before.  However, when one of her close friends, Olivia Nicholls who swims with Niamh at Pioneer 79 agreed to take part too, she was much more positive about the challenge’ says mum Suzanne.

Niamh had a couple of reasons for taking part in the event, firstly due to the relevance with T.P Properties, but also that her older sister, Phoebe who suffered from Asperger’s Syndrome died suddenly just over eight years ago at the age of six.  Niamh said ‘I wanted to do something not only in memory of my sister, but also to say thank you to my sponsors for their continued support in my swimming.’

On the day, the sun was shining and it was very busy, there were over 200 swimmers taking part which was amazing.  Olivia and Niamh managed to get into the first wave of swimmers which meant they set off at 3.00pm.  Everyone was very excited, then the hooter sounded and they were off!

Niamh and Olivia had made a plan before it started that they were sprinting the first 50m or so to get away from the pack and allow themselves to settle into a rhythm.  The water was very cold, 14oc; as a result they struggled to get their breath at first.  At the half way point, they were swimming stroke for stroke and only one person was ahead.  As they turned the final buoy and headed into the final straight the leader was about 25m in front of them.  Niamh could hear her mum and Olivia’s parents shouting that she was catching him, so this made her try even harder.  As Niamh and the leader approached the final 25m she could see the boy’s splash just ahead, but had no idea she was so close to him.  Niamh managed to stand up quickly as soon as she approached the water’s edge and sprinted for the finish line which was about 30m from the lakeside.  She crossed the line first in her wave with the boy just behind, followed very closely by Olivia.  It was only when Niamh crossed the line that it was noticed her ‘timing tag’ had fallen off in the lake.  So up to now we have not idea what time she did, or what position she came in her category as the results have not been published on the website.

Niamh’s web page has been open for approximately three weeks.  At first her aim was to raise monies in the region of £150.  However, the support from everybody has been fantastic and she has smashed her target and the monies currently stand at £260.  It will be left open until the end of October, so please visit the web page and if possible make a sponsorship donation.  The page details are:  www.virginmoneygiving.com/NiamhRobinson.  Thank you

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View from the finish line
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Our pair happy and rightfully proud
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