A team of 60 swimmers from Sedbergh School and Casterton, Sedbergh Preparatory School, including staff, parents, and pupils aged 13 to 18, braved the cold water of Lake Windermere and entered the Great North Swim last weekend, raising more than £4,500 for the Great North Air Ambulance.

Overall, the School Ladies’ team, last year’s winners, won by three minutes, the Mixed team came second and the Male team finished in third place. 

Faye Barker, Science Teacher at Casterton, Sedbergh Preparatory School and co-organiser of the team, said: “We entered four teams into the Team Challenge, including a male team (Robbo Racers  Dads’ Team), two female teams and one mixed team.

For many it was their first event in open water and they were very nervous. We had approximately 26 swimming the half mile and 34 in the mile.  With a team of twelve teachers, we worked on swimmers’ acclimatisation, confidence, pace and technique. Everyone was buzzing afterwards and loved it.  

We were so glad the lake temperature warmed up, as many were very cold a few weeks ago when we were training.”

Hayley Christy, co-organiser and Housemistress of Robertson, said: “After the success of the 2014 swim, we knew we would enter again this year but had no idea we would gather so much support, and it was brilliant to have so many from the Prep School involved this year.

We started training after Christmas, in our swimming pools on both sites; the senior school swimming pool facilities were upgraded in 2014. We also signed up for regular training sessions at Fell Foot Park with Sleeker Swim and Brockhole with Activ Blu.”

Mandy Drake, Head of Fundraising at GNAAS, said: “We want to say a huge thank you to the team at Sedbergh School who braved the icy waters and took on this great challenge.

The funds raised will go directly towards keeping our helicopter up in the air and this will without a doubt save lives in the region. We are immensely grateful for their support.”

Further donations can be made at

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