News from our partners: Blacksmith forging ahead with marathon swimming challenge in aid of Prostate Cancer UK
News from our partners Shropshire Community Leisure Trust
A local artist blacksmith, who used to represent Team GB as an open-water swimmer, is once again back in the water, this time attempting just over 26 miles at The Quarry Swimming & Fitness Centre in Shrewsbury, to support of Prostate Cancer UK, following his father’s shock diagnosis with the condition on 4 December 2023.
Jack Sampson has been a blacksmith since he was 14, and a full-time smith since 2018 when he gained his BA in Artist Blacksmithing BA from the Hereford School of Arts, the only place in the UK to offer that degree.
Smithing took over from swimming as his focus when his competitive career came to an end in 2016, and he has not really swam much since. That changed when he heard the news about his dad, Mark:-
“My dad has always been an inspiration to me, so I’m doing this swim for him and to show support for a charity that does so much to help people living with this disease.
With my swimming background, getting back in the water felt like the best way for me to do my bit. I haven’t properly swam for years, but the news about my dad was the spur I needed to return to the pool.
“I’m swimming a marathon at The Quarry centre between January and the end of March 2024. I would like to thank the team at the centre for allowing me access to the pool for this charity challenge.”
Rhys Collins, partnership manager for Shropshire Community Leisure Trust, which operates Shropshire Council-owned The Quarry Swimming and Fitness Centre, said:-
“We’re pleased to offer Jack use of the recently reopened main pool at The Quarry. His marathon swim will hopefully raise lots of money, while increasing awareness of a disease that affects so many.”
“My dad is currently doing well, which is all that matters. But if anyone would like to donate via my Just Giving page, it would be hugely appreciated. I’m heading towards the 10 mile mark currently, so there’s still a fair way to go.”
Shrewsbury Sports Village, along with The Quarry Swimming and Fitness Centre in Shrewsbury, Oswestry Leisure Centre and Market Drayton Swimming and Fitness Centre, are operated by Shropshire Community Leisure Trust in partnership with Serco Leisure, and on behalf of Shropshire Council.