Aberdeen student makes a big splash for charity

Aberdeen student makes a big splash for charity

A University of Aberdeen student has raised over £7000 for charity after completing a gruelling cross-Channel solo swim.

Emma Lister, who is studying for a joint degree in Physiology and French, battled high seas and strong winds to complete the 26-mile challenge in the early hours of Saturday August 29th, crossing from Dover to Calais in 17 hours and 39 minutes.

As a result of her exploits, the third year student – who captains the University’s Women’s Lacrosse Team and is AUSA Vice President for Sport - has raised a grand total of £7,500 for Crohn’s and Colitis UK, a charity supporting sufferers of Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis.

Emma was inspired to undertake the challenge because of her sister’s own battle with Ulcerative Colitis, and she was supported by her sister and the rest of her family who crossed alongside her on board the support boat, Sea Satin.

Describing the experience, Emma said: “Swimming the Channel was the toughest challenge I’ve ever set myself, and I was ecstatic to have succeeded.

“The high waves and strong winds hampered progress and there were times when I thought I was never going to make it, but my support team gave me the encouragement I needed to make it to France.

“I’m so grateful for the messages of support and congratulations I’ve had, not to mention the donations. My online donations are now over £7000 pounds and I have raised a further £400 through personal donations.  The support people have shown is just unbelievable and very humbling.”

Now that Emma is back in Aberdeen she is looking forward to some different sporting challenges in the year ahead, which include representing the University – and Scotland – on the lacrosse field.

She said: “Last year I was playing lacrosse for Scotland but I couldn't really commit myself because of all the training I had to do for the swim, so I'm putting everything into my Scotland lacrosse training this year to get the most out of it.

“As for the University lacrosse team, I’m looking forward to what is shaping up to be a great year ahead for the whole club.  We had a really enthusiastic response at freshers' week, and we have a lot of talented players in the pool which strengthens our teams and increases our chances of getting further in the league.

“In addition to my captaincy duties I’ll also be working closely with the AUSA Sports President to help organise our intramural leagues and other events including our annual Sports Ball, so it’s shaping up to be a busy year ahead!”

Anyone wishing to make a donation can visit Emma’s JustGiving page at https://www.justgiving.com/emma-lister21

A short video featuring Emma’s swim is also available to view here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lt8g1X4pbvk