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English Channel Swim

"I swim to secure the future of my 172 children."

Maria swims the English Channel to keep the Foundation going

Maria Conceicao has already gone to unimaginable lengths and heights to raise funds in order to give underprivileged children from the Gawair slum in Dhaka, Bangladesh access to education.

She has risked frost bite in the bitter cold of the North Pole, scaled the intimidating Mount Everest, ran enough to earn 6 Guinness World Records and pushed herself far beyond what she thought she was capable of. She has surprised seasoned sportspeople with her quick progress and proven sceptics wrong with her determinism.

She now attempts her toughest challenge yet in a desperate effort to raise vital funds, which will help keep 172 children in school. The woman, who learned to swim last year, will attempt (weather permitting) what is considered one of the hardest swims in the world: the English Channel – 34km in 15ºC water fighting the elements, jellyfish, fatigue and hypothermia.

We will be posting updates on Maria’s progress on this page and will have a live feed on the day of the swim, so you can all root for her and send positive thoughts and prayers her way as she attempts the swim. Keep up to date with the latest media reports and make sure to follow us on social media. 

Watch what experts have to say about Maria’s attempt to swim the Channel

What's the swim all about?

Swimming the English Channel is considered one of the toughest sporting challenges in the world. The fact that more people have summited Mt Everest speaks loudly of its difficulty.

The swim is about so much more than mere swimming. It is a tough mental challenge as well as Maria will have to swim for approximately 18-24 hours in 15-18ºC water, which puts her at a serious risk of hypothermia.

Besides this, the English Channel is one of the busiest shipping routes in Europe, so Maria will have to fight with waves and currents not to be taken towards the large ships. There is also the threat of being stung by jellyfish, which has been a reason to cut many Channel crossing attempts short.

She will be accompanied by a fishing boat throughout the swim, however, touching the boat or getting on the boat will result in immediate disqualification. Maria’s crew on the boat will provide her liquid food, which she will have to eat while floating in the water.

Maria will start her swim from Dover, UK and end it in Cap Gris Nez, France.