Courtesy of Sally Minty-Gravett, Bailiwick of Jersey.

At the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame induction ceremonies on November 6th in San Pedro, California, Sally Minty-Gravett represented the Jersey Long Distance Swimming Club as the famed team was inducted as an Honour Organisation and gave the following acceptance speech:

On behalf of the Jersey Long Distance Swimming Club, I would like to thank you all for nominating and voting us into the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame.

We started the club in 1974 with 7 swimmers and 6 committee members. I am one of the founder members and committee members of the club – being President since 1988 – 27 years.

I have only done what I love best. I teach and coach swimming, and have done since I was 14; it’s what I love doing.

And since I coach and see youngsters every day in the pool, I see the sea swimming potential and invite them To ‘try out the sea’.

Jersey Island (9 x 5 miles) in the Channel Islands, Great Britain has the most beautiful sea water to swim in and train…therefore it is perfect training ground for open water swimming..especially channel swimming.

In 1975, we entered a team in the Channel Swimming Association Centenary race, we also had 2 English Channel swims off the back of that…out of that team and since then we have achieved so much: 33 [English] Channel swims – between 25 of us – we believe it is the highest per capita in the world.

106 Round Jersey solo swims – 38 miles. 37 Jersey-to-France solo swims – 17 miles and 37 Around Jersey relays…and so many more worldwide swims which are all listed on our website [see here at www.jerseyseaswims.org].

Club membership is currently at 130 and growing all the time. There is now a new commercial pilot in Jersey so bigger swims can be offered and more often as he has a larger boat.

The committee works very hard and there is a wealth of fantastic experience to help all who swim and need advice. We are all volunteers and organise all these swims as volunteers enabling us to keep our costs and swim fees down.

This year, I am actually stepping down as active President and Wendy Trehiou will be voted in as our new President in 2 weeks at the Annual General Meeting. I will still be helping, organising and occasionally piloting Round Jersey swims.

AND as I am still in training for a 2-way Channel swim, the fourth year in waiting. I will still be swimming and bringing more children and swimmers in – I just won’t be in charge, so I will ‘just keep swimming’ and having fun. May the Jersey Long Distance Swimming Club continue growing and growing ..the future IS rosy.

We are TRULY honoured. Thank you.”

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