Ivan reaches halfway

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INTREPID Ivan Burt-Smith, the eight-year-old Cub swimming the equivalent of the English Channel, passed the halfway mark this week, writes Sally Gillespie.

Tuesday night saw the Kirkhope primary schoolboy notch up his 720th length of the Selkirk pool, the same as swimming more than 11 miles.

He aimed to average about 50 lengths an hour, but last Friday managed 64 lengths in 60 minutes, which proud mum Jan described as an “outstanding achievement”.

She said: “He is doing extremely well. He is well on track and we’re confident he will manage to achieve his target as planned – which is to complete his Channel swim on Tuesday, March 12, at approximately 6.30pm.”

The youngster, of Murison Hill, is undertaking the epic swim to raise money towards reslating the Scout hall roof in Mill Street.

Jan said: “Donations and sponsors seem to have dropped off almost completely now, which is such a shame knowing just how much Ivan is putting in day after day to getting a decent amount for the roof fund. I think that swimming the Channel as an eight-year-old deserves a lot of money, but remember, I’m his mum!”

Sponsor forms are available at Selkirk swimming pool, Kirkhope primary school, Halliwell’s butcher, Selkirk library, Focus Judo at the Focus Centre in Galashiels, Shoe World and Scott’s Selkirk shop, or people can send cheques, made payable to Selkirk Scout Group and marked with Ivan’s Channel Swim and the sender’s name and address on the back, to Ivan’s Channel Swim, Selkirk Scout Group, c/o 1 Murison Hill, Selkirk, TD7 5AP.

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