My dad, Ged (aka ‘The Jedi’), and I are planning to do a 10km swim on September 27th 2014.. Neither of us have ever swum that far in our lives and, whilst my dad is very fit for his age, he is 66 (he will be 67 when the swim happens) so, whilst it’s going to be a huge challenge for the both of us, I am pretty impressed that Dad has allowed me to strong-arm him into this. In all honestly, he is likely to put me to shame – once he puts his mind to something, he refuses to give in!
Dad said: “At 67 to swim 10km will be a big challenge, it will be worth it to show my support for CAPS and the amazing work they do on behalf of animals. My training starts now and it will be a fantastic achievement if both Liz and I can manage the whole distance”.
At present, I can swim 5km without too much trouble and dad is (excuse the pun) testing the water to see what he can do at the minute. After that, we are going to be planning our training schedule and getting down to the serious work. We know that it’s going to be a lot of work to get up to our target distance in just less than 3 months!
Why are we doing it? Well, for those that know me well, you will know that I work for the Captive Animals’ Protection Society and our current campaign is calling for an end to the use of whales in circus-style shows by UK company, Merlin Entertainments/SEA LIFE aquariums.
Whales don’t belong in swimming pools and the whales used by Merlin are forced to perform in degrading shows 3 times a day to up to 6,000 screaming people. This is no life for a smart, feeling and complex animal to endure.
In the wild, beluga whales, like those used by SEA LIFE/Merlin live in the open ocean. Whales are famously gregarious and live in large family groups. Social and family bonds are hugely important – just like with people. That’s why we thought a family effort would be so fitting for this aquatic event. Just as my dad and I are very close and will be for our entire lives, so whales who are left to live their own lives in freedom have the same strong family bonds.
I am lucky to have a lifetime of memories with my dad and the rest of my friends and family. And I have plenty more to look forward to. This simple, yet vitally important experience has been cruelly taken away from the whales who were taken away from their families, stolen from the ocean and put in aquariums to turn profit for attraction owners.
Your donation will help us to campaign for an end to the exploitation of these amazing animals, and raise awareness about this important issue.
Thanks for taking the time to read this, and we will update you with our progress.Liz and Ged xx