Swim challenge to raise funds and awareness

Elizabeth Barker gets in some practice at the pool at Catmose Sports Centre
Elizabeth Barker gets in some practice at the pool at Catmose Sports Centre
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A brave woman is looking to conquer her fears and learn to swim in the memory of her father who died from prostate cancer.

Elizabeth Barker, 43, of Cresswell Drive, Cottesmore, has taken up the challenge in a bid to raise funds and awareness for Prostate Cancer UK, after her father Patrick Daly, who was also known as Joe Lockwood, died from the disease in 2009.

She has set herself a goal of swimming the length of the 25m pool at Catmose Sports Centre on May 12, along with her friends and family cheering her on.

Elizabeth began taking lessons at Catmose Sports Centre in October last year.

When she first stepped into the pool, she could only manage doggy paddle, but after weekly coaching sessions with swimming instructor Angela Duerden, she can now swim a short distance front crawl. Her next step is to conquer her fear of deep water and then achieve her goal of swimming the length of the pool.

Elizabeth said: “I’ve never liked water so it’s such a big challenge for me but learning to swim has been such an unbelievable buzz.

“My instructor Angela has been brilliant. She has given me the confidence to undertake this very scary challenge. Every week she sets a new goal for me to reach, and every week I think it’s impossible. Then when I do, the sense of achievement is unmeasurable. I know my dad would be so proud of me.”

Elizabeth’s father died in 2009 after suffering from the disease for nine years.

Apart from hospital staff, Elizabeth and her family had no-one to talk to, and now Elizabeth is keen to promote the work the charity does in supporting sufferers and their family.

She added: “I’m not just trying to raise money for the charity but I’m also looking to promote the excellent work it does.”

To sponsor Elizabeth, visit her just giving page at www.justgiving.com/Elizabeth-Barker2. For more about the charity, visit www.prostatecanceruk.org