They are so many people that helped out at this event, donated prizes, worked tirelessly, came to support me… and so much more! I am going to try and mention everyone here – I am so grateful for everyone that supported me through volunteering/raffle prizes/swimming.

To read all the details about the event – click here.

To read my story about the event – click here.

Arundel Lido

Anna swimming in her FinFun tail at Arundel Lido
Arundel Lido

Nikki

Nikki – you get your own subheading as you are amazing – and so patient! I am so grateful for her support… whether it has been allowing me to train, watching me swim up and down (which, let’s face it, is like watching paint dry), sorting raffle prizes, cheering me on, keeping the pool warm! The list goes on…

Arundel Lido

Thank you to Jay for lifeguarding on the day and counting lengths, realising when I was struggling and supporting me. It was a long day, and I am well aware how dull watching people swim lengths is!

Thank you to all the lifeguards that were supportive over the summer and that were cheering me on during training. Also, a massive thank you to all the volunteers, trustees and everyone else from the Lido who supported me, donated raffle prizes, ran the BBQ and so many other jobs.

FinFun

Where do I start?! First of all, just support through emails and phone calls! I’m fairly certain most of the staff thought I was crazy. However, every single email was positive and encouraging.

Then, they created the most beautiful, meaningful mermaid tail – just for me, and just for this event… more on that soon! (It deserves it’s own blog post!). They also sent a gorgeous, matching bikini!

FinFun also sponsored the event by sending tails in key sizes for adults and children to swim in. This was such a big help as people got to wear some amazing special edition designs. Finally, we used FinFun printables (found here) and gave out FinFun stickers!

**Stay tuned – some of these tails will be auctioned off to raise even more money for charity**

FinFun mermaid tail and banner at Arundel Lido
FinFun tail and banner at Arundel Lido

Isaac (and Cody)

Isaac put up with a lot at the end of the summer. Not only was I super stressed out with the organisation of this swim, I was then disappearing right at the start of term (he is an Assistant Head Teacher) and leaving him with all the childcare responsibility while I went to Las Vegas! I am so incredibly grateful for his support and putting up with my crazy idea – even if he didn’t think I’d be able to do it! Cody for cheering me on… and giving me a big hug when I got out the pool.

Time for Nutrition

I left sorting out my nutrition and hydration right to the very end. I do not recommend this. However, in my desperation I googled ‘sports nutrition’ and Time for Nutrition came up in Waterlooville. I nearly didn’t go, I nearly freaked out. However, I am so glad I went, met Kelly, and got my nutrition and hydration sorted! Best decision ever. Plus, I am still using their amazing products.

Luckily, all my misconceptions about Sports Nutrition were changed very quickly. I am going to do a blog post all about them as I am so grateful for Kelly and all her advice, support and patience. But, for now, thank you so much!

Jean and Andie Lowes

I had lots of volunteers throughout the day, but Jean arrived at the pool before me, left after I had got out and, according to Isaac, ‘bossed it’ in terms of registering people. Jean ensured that the event ran smoothly, staying for 13+ hours to make sure that I had support swimmers in the pool, making sure forms were filled in and organising people! I know Andie did a lot with tails and made sure that people had correct sizes! I’m sure she did a lot of organising as well.

Andie

Jo

For your pep talk. There aren’t many people that know me well enough to push me like you did. I’m so glad you were there! Thank you for your gift for afterwards.

Swimmers

Thank you so much to all the swimmers that swam alongside me. I wasn’t sure at first that it would make much of a difference. However, it made a HUGE difference – seeing different people swim alongside me helped count down the time (without clock watching). It was also so lovely to have people to swim next to and keep me company and see different faces supporting them from the sidelines. The fact that the 32 swimmers swam 60km shows just how dedicated everyone was. Sofia and Stuart came at the beginning of the day, the middle and the end. Andie was in and out the pool constantly during the 13 hours, along with Jade! Chrissie swam for ages!

Raffle Prize Donations

  • £50 John Lewis Voucher – thank you to Sims Williams
  • Season Pass for Arundel Lido 2010
  • Bottle of Jack Daniels Tennessee Cinnamon whisky
  • 1 x Mermaid swimming course with South Coast Mermaids (worth £60!)
  • Mermaid Goody bag
  • Creative Crafters (adults aged 16+) – Prize = 1 ticket worth £22.50 (ticket includes everything you need to make and take away 2 crafts, a welcome drink and nibbles) – thank you to the Creation Station Chichester
  • Baby Discover (6 months – 15 months) or Little Explorers (15 months – 5 years) – Prize = 2 classes at either session (classes normally £7 each) thank you to the Creation Station Chichester
  • Hamper from Rose Petal Cake Company (and they also donated to the cake sale!)
  • Flowers from The Enchanted Florist
  • Prosecco and Chocolates from Trish and Family
  • Wine Tasting Experience
  • Mermaid Bag from Sarah Alexander
  • 2 x £5 gift voucher to Jerichos sweet shop, £10 voucher for Turner’s pies – Thank you to Hannah, Stuart and Sofia
  • Cream tea for two at Belinda’s
  • Two vouchers for family swimming – Arun Leisure Centre
  • Wine – Lido Trustees

**Please do message if I have missed your name by the prize**

The raffle prizes at the sponsored mermaid swim.
Some of the raffle prizes!

Cake Sale

Thank you to Gina and family for running the cake sale! Also, to the Rose Petal Cake Company for the biscuits kindly donated. A big thank you to everyone who donated cakes or purchased them.

Gluten-free cake

A special thank you to Adrian, who made me an amazing gluten free cake for when I finished. I had it for breakfast, lunch and dinner the next day too!

Everyone else

Violeta and Ellie – Thank you. You offered so much support and I know you wanted to do more! I’m so grateful for everything you did.

I am so grateful for everyone’s support. If you came down on the day, if you shared my posts on Facebook, if you bought raffle tickets, swam next to me, cheered me on! I loved seeing so many of you – and so many of my Water Babies! So very cute!

My colleagues: two work friends (and friends) came and swam next to me (Hannah and Vicki), two other Fin2Fit Instructors (Ann and Chrissie), and some current colleagues cheered me on (Aimi, Danny and Debbie).

Thank you to Hannah, because putting up with Nikki who was putting up with me, can’t have been easy!

I’m sure I have missed people – please do message me if you think of someone else. I will use this blog post like a work in progress.

Behind the Scenes

I was supported by:

Gareth Sear – provided coaching over the last year as well as business advice specifically related to this event- Business Start Up Specialist and Business Support Project Manager at University of Chichester

Debbie Ford – social media and general business support/advice! – The Chichester Social

Bernadette Palombo – provided coaching for me to become more confident with running this event, PR – Salone Events

Mermaid tail splash at Arundel Lido in front of Arundel Castle
Mermaid splash and Arundel Castle at Arundel Lido

2 comments

  1. Anna / South Coast Mermaids, what can we say….
    We met just over a year ago and i was more than happy to support you with your business venture to launch Mermaid swimming during the summer season at Arundel Lido.
    You have crazy ideas and as much as possible we will run with anything, but a 12 hour swim as a mermaid… you set the bar high!!
    Your commitment and dedication to training as much as possible, early starts, pool covers on and off, but it was all worth it!
    You are amazing, you have not only completed your challenge of swimming for 12 hours, completing 1216 lengths, involving your young swimmers and their families in a great event, but most importantly helping to raise fund for us to maintain and develop Arundel Lido.
    I’m still not sure how you managed to do this, and to be honest i feel like all i actually did on the day was count your lengths with Jason!

    Congratulations Anna, thank you everyone for their support on the day and i look forward to your next crazy idea!!

    Nikki – Arundel Lido

  2. Thanks Nikki – I know the funds will make a huge difference! Did you see the thank you to Hannah? Please show her, I know all your early starts/late finishes because of me weren’t the easiest! x

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