A former Ashville College pupil has smashed his target to raise £12,000 for two charities after successfully swimming the English Channel.

Richard Boyle, who was undertaking the challenge in aid of Alzheimer’s Society and Parkinson’s UK, completed the gruelling 35km swim in just over 13 hours, which started on the shores of Samphire Hoe, in Dover, and finished in Cap Gris Nez, Calais.

Accompanied on his journey by a support boat, Richard started his swim at 9.30pm, wearing just a normal bathing costume as ‘rules’ said he could not wear a wetsuit.

So far, the former rugby player, who undertook the challenge in memory of his grandfather who suffered from Alzheimer’s, and his godfather who had Parkinson’s, has raised more than £18,800.

Richard, who two days after his swim presented his charity T-shirt to the College, said:

“The swim was by far the toughest thing I’ve ever done. Swimming through the night was not something I expected, nor would I ever wish to do again.

“However, I’m absolutely delighted to have completed the swim and completely blown away by the support for my two charities – it would be great if we could hit £20K!”

Duncan Archer, Ashville’s Head of Swimming, said:

“Richard was a superb College rugby player, and a valuable member of the swimming team. His swimming training was an important part of his training regime.

“We are very proud of his achievement, and his charity T-shirt, which will be framed, will grace the walls of our Sports Centre, where his England Students’ rugby shirt already hangs proudly on the wall of sporting fame, alongside other sports shirts gifted to us by other pupils and alumni who have been successful in sport.”

For those who still wish to sponsor him, Richard’s fundraising page can be found at:https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/RBchannelswim

For more information about Ashville, visit www.ashville.co.uk or call 01423 566358.

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