FIT TO TEACH
How big could something called ‘The Big Swim’ possibly be? Pretty big actually. Imagine swimming across the English Channel three times over eight consecutive weekends. That’s what Lottie Lucas, Brett Hallam and Kieran Ballad-Tremer are about to do as they all become the first group to attempt to swim the entire length of the Dubai coastline. The team sailed through their first stage, swimming 10 km of the total 85 km swim last Saturday. Despite the warm sea temperature and crashing into waste plastic every now and then, they are right on target.
The plastic isn’t just an issue for this challenge, the team are passionate about reducing single use plastic in the UAE. The Big Swim is supporting Drop It , a campaign which aims to encourage people in Dubai to filter tap water instead of buying bottle after bottle and causing serious damage to the environment. Shockingly, the UAE consumes 800 million water bottles per year, a marginal amount of which go on to be recycled.
“When I lived in London, recycling was part of our daily routine and it is upsetting to think how much plastic is wasted, especially from water bottles.” GEMS Aquatics Director, Lottie, is thrilled to be a part of the awareness campaign. After meeting Kieran and Brett last year, keen paddle-boarder, Lottie couldn’t turn down the chance to take on this challenge. “Having them by my side for the 85km is what will pull me through the darker moments. This really is mind over matter!” she said.
Before moving to Dubai two years ago, British-born Lottie spent much of her life in the pool, racking up two National and over 50 Essex County titles during her teenage years. “I qualified as an ASA Level 2 swimming teacher at the age of 17 and am now combining my passions of teaching and swimming.” As Aquatics Director at GEMS World Academy – Dubai, she is also leading and coordinating the Dubai Primary Swimming League this year for over 40 schools, which she counts as another exciting challenge.
While this is the hardest endurance challenge she’s tackled yet, Lottie is familiar with swimming great lengths at a time, even spending up to 18 hours per week in the pool during her teenage years. The water isn’t her only love though as she also enjoys triathlons, yoga, pilates and circuits. Once this marathon of a swim is complete, Lottie would love to check the English Channel off her list of accomplishments. First however, she’ll be taking part in the Dubai Ironman 70.3 race in February 2018.
A note from the team: