Melton Mowbray swimmer completes ice bath challenge

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media captionCold water swimmer takes dip in animal troughs for charity

A cold water swimmer whose training facility closed during lockdown has completed a seven-day ice bath challenge.

Justine Sore said she devised the challenge to get her "cold water fix in lockdown" in landlocked Leicestershire.

The 48-year-old, who lives on a farm in Melton Mowbray, took the plunge in seven of the farm's animal troughs.

The solicitor has also used the challenge to raise more than £2,100 for the county's air ambulance.

image copyrightJustine Sore
image captionSwimming enthusiast Justine Sore decided to take the plunge into animal troughs on her farm

'Painful'

"Walking around our farm, I thought 'I've got to get my cold water fix in lockdown somehow, somewhere'," said Ms Sore.

"I thought I'd combine the crazy idea of dipping into seven of our animal troughs over seven days to raise money for the Derbyshire, Leicestershire, and Rutland Air Ambulance."

Ms Sore began the challenge on 8 January, and had to employ the assistance of her son Charles to break the ice in some of the troughs.

She said she got some funny looks from the animals.

"The male sheep tend to be very inquisitive," she said.

image copyrightJustine Sore
image captionThe 48-year-old used her love of cold water swimming to raise money for the county's air ambulance

Despite being a seasoned cold water swimmer, she admitted the challenge was uncomfortable.

"When the water's below 5C it is painful, but once you let the water envelope your body it's just the most wonderful experience," she said.

Ms Sore completed the challenge on Thursday and was left shocked when she realised she had raised more than £2,100 for the air ambulance.

"I initially set the target at £100, but it's really gained momentum," she said.

She chose to raise money for the charity because so many of its fundraising events have been cancelled, due to the pandemic.

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