Last month Chiltern Tri member Gill Ralphs held a Macmillan coffee morning at Chesham Moor swim & gym open air pool raising over £1,000.
Earlier this year Gill was diagnosed with bile duct cancer and has been receiving treatment since then. The coffee morning was held on an untraditional Saturday due to Gill’s chemotherapy sessions on a Friday. Macmillan have been part of a supportive wonderful network for Gill along with her wonderful friends and family.
Gill Ralph's has been a Chiltern Tri club member for just over ten years. A competitive swimmer as a child and early teenager saw her swim for Surrey. After giving up swimming at aged fourteen due to O levels, Gill started playing underwater hockey at university and continued to play up until the birth of her first child in 1986. In 1985 Gill played against German, French and Dutch teams to become European champions! After taking time out to have a family Gill took up karate and did so for five years. Looking for a new challenge Gill discovered triathlon, she thought she'd give it ago as she could swim and that seemed to be the most difficult part for other triathletes. Gill then became and still is in her own words “a very slow but enthusiastic triathlete”
In 2012 Gill swam in her first channel relay organised by Chiltern Tri. Being so enthralled by the whole thing she started to train another team of six in 2014 helping others do what she loved to do. Since then she has supported a team of three in 2015 and four teams in 2016 (also Swimming within the 2016 team herself).
Gill has swum lots of channel swims, sea swims, the Sicily Isles challenge x 3 and Brownsea swim - just to name a few! The next channel swim relays are being planned for 2019. The training takes eighteen months and anyone who can swim for an hour in a pool can train to swim in a channel relay says Gill.
When Gill is not swimming she's also involved with the Artic one foundation a local charity that helps people with disabilities get into sport at both recreational and elite levels. www.artic1.co.uk
In a nutshell this lady loves to swim… and quite possibly cake ;-). Personally I think she is an inspiration.
If you are interested in training for a channel swim come along to a Chiltern Tri swim session, for more information let us know.