Sara shares her passions …
As a swimmer, educator and advocate for body-positivity, Sara is sharing her story in the hopes of inspiring others to join her at Great Lengths 2023.
Having grown up by the coast, Sara has always had a connection to the water and swimming. It makes her relax and feel free from the pressures of society.
In addition to swimming, Sara also has a passion for people, spending much of her life advocating for, and supporting the dreams of, children and adults with learning disabilities (including at Team Domenica).
Read on to learn more about Sara’s story and find out what Great Lengths means to her…
Hi Sara! What does the word “challenge” mean to you?
A challenge is when the first thoughts that come to mind are all the reasons not to do something; some of these reasons can be sensible but, like most people, I can get distracted by worrying about things that are meaningless, like other people’s opinions.
As a plus-sized, older woman, it can be assumed that I am not interested in physical, healthy activities or that I am not confident to be in a swimming costume in public. If I let these assumptions override what I want to do, and who I want to be, I lose out – not only for myself, but as a potential role model for others facing similar challenges. I am privileged through experience and can use this to support others.
You mentioned swimming, what is your swim story?
I grew up in coastal Devon with a Dad who was a fisherman and coastguard. I think I was a water baby from the off and spent seemingly endless summers in the sea and almost everyday after school at the pool. Sadly life got in the way and I stopped regularly swimming for a lot of adulthood and developed an aversion to the sea. Now, thankfully, I am back in the water regularly – swimming in a pool twice a week and in the sea when the weather (and water companies) allow!
So what makes swimming so special? How does it feel when you’re in the water?
When you’re in the water you have to attune to what’s happening around you and your own capabilities in the environment. You are also away from screens, media and online demands. Its just you and a timeless elemental force, so I feel I get in touch with parts of my mind that are buried in the business of work and life. It’s my favourite way to unwind.
What would you say to someone thinking of signing up to Great Lengths?
Raising money for charity and staying active are both important for everyone on an individual level, however what is I love about Great Lengths is this sense of everyone being part of something bigger.
It feels very special to start the new academic year with Team Domenica coming together with our wider Brighton community to say “We can do this; your success is my success!”
And finally, is there anything else you’d like to say?
Whatever size or shape they may be, some of our candidates can feel visibly different – it’s sadly such a normal part of young people’s lives. If jumping in a pool, a place I love to be, can make even one of our candidates feel as though they can move beyond this, I’d do it every week (well between May and September at least! Haha!)
Please join me, and many others, at Great Lengths this September – together we can make a real difference.
If Sara has inspired you to get in the water – no matter your size or ability – ‘Great Lengths’ is the perfect opportunity to challenge yourself whilst also fundraising for young people with learning disabilities.