Swimming world record holder Dr Julie Bradshaw MBE is backing Cat’s campaign to keep Fleetwood Leisure Centre open.
Wyre Council has announced it will re-open Garstang and Thornton when lockdown restrictions allow but have given no commitment to re-opening Fleetwood swimming baths. In addition the statement from the YMCA also failed to confirm the reopening of the centre.
Swimmer Julie was born in Blackpool and was a member of Fleetwood Swimming Club, training at the town’s pool during her youth.
She first swam the English Channel at the age of 15 and in 2002 did it again using the swimming stroke butterfly which she completed in 14 hours, 18 minutes. This broke the previous record by over nine hours.
Julie completed a further achievement in the history of long distance butterfly swimming when she circumnavigated the 28.5 miles course around Manhattan Island in New York in the fastest documented butterfly time of 9 hours and 28 minutes. There is a title in the swimming world called the Triple Crown – this is an elite group who have swum the English Channel (22 miles), Catalina Channel (22 miles) and Manhattan Island (28.5 miles). Swimmers do this on freestyle, yet only two swimmers in the world have achieved two of the three on the proper traditional butterfly. Julie is one of them.
So she clearly knows a thing or two about swimming!
Today Julie is a teacher, business motivator, sports coach, swimmer, counsellor, and a coach of Neuro Linguistic Programming and Time Line Therapy. Whilst she lives in Loughborough still works in Blackpool and Fleetwood part time as a life coach and psychotherapist.
“Its devastating to hear that both Wyre Council and the YMCA aren’t ruling out closing the leisure centre,” Julie told Cat. “In a survey of over 80,000 people it was found that swimmers had a 28% lower risk of early death and a 41% lower risk of early death from heart disease and stroke. The benefits of swimming are massive for all ages. Living on an island, we’re never that far away from water and its critical that children have access to learning this essential life saving skill. In adults, swimming can reduce stress and it helps older people to stay mentally and physically agile.”
Julie is calling on the YMCA and Wyre Council to recognise the importance of the leisure centre and to make a commitment to reopen it as soon as the lockdown restrictions are lifted.