Bermudian shows true grit in charity swim – The Royal Gazette | Bermuda News, Business, Sports, Events, & Community

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Bermudian shows true grit in charity swim

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It was a tough go for Holly O'Leary, a Bermudian in Canada who swam a gruelling eight hours and 16.5km in support of a charity for children — but she made it.

“If I can do it, so can you,” Ms O'Leary told The Royal Gazette. “I'd love to see something like this organised for Bermuda, maybe from St George's to Dockyard.

“I would encourage anyone who may have thought they may want to do something like this, or anything else that may challenge them, or scare them, to just do it. It will change you forever.”

Despite perfect weather, Sunday's swim across the Northumberland Strait, from New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island, became a tough slog for the 53 volunteers when the tides shifted. However, they raised thousands for Camp Brigadoon, a Canadian charity that specialises in giving a camp experience to children with chronic conditions or special needs.

“I arrived with tendinitis in my right hand and an aching bad shoulder that had started to bother me four hours in, brought on by the tough current,” Ms O'Leary said.

Her husband, local entrepreneur and former CedarBridge teacher Grant Kennedy, was waiting on the shore for her with their daughters Rowan Kennedy, 11, and Taryn Kennedy, 8.

“I couldn't have done it, staying focused and determined, without the huge amount of support and love I had received from my family and friends, including many Bermudians,” Ms O'Leary said.

Going the extra mile: Holly O'Leary joined 52 other volunteers to swim Canada's Northumberland Strait for charity - eight hours and 16.5km (Photograph supplied)
Meeting the challenge: Holly O'Leary with husband Grant Kennedy. Sunday's swim proved a testing challenge (Photograph supplied)

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Published August 21, 2015 at 9:00 am (Updated August 21, 2015 at 2:54 am)

Bermudian shows true grit in charity swim

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