September 07, 2010

The FunSwimShop World Bog Snorkelling Championships

Dame Julia Galvin
We're 'flushed' with success and back on solid ground following the FunSwimShop World Bog Snorkelling Championships in Llanwrtyd Wells on Sunday 29th August. Phillip Madden and I actually took part and brought World Championship Medals back to Buckinghamshire! There is even a video of our medal winning performances!

Phill 'The Medal' Madden
To compete in this wacky Welsh sport you must don the essential mask, snorkel and flippers and complete two consecutive lengths of a 60 yard bog trench using flipper power alone. Fancy dress is optional but strongly encouraged as this is the real highlight of the day.

The serious competitors produced new World Record times with Dan Morgan becoming the Male World Champion and Dineka Maguire taking the Ladies title. The fancy dress entries were so creative this year with notable entries including a pantomime horse, water dragons, a dalek and a rather hairy Snow White! The ultimate winner had to be two ladies dressed as a pantomime horse for the effort and ingenuity involved in making their own costume complete with snorkel holes built in to the horse’s head and rear end! Well done to Anne-Marie Beresford Webb and Eva Walters.

Ellie and Arrun Jones
The event is very popular with fundraisers and the day kicked off with Ellie (14) and Arrun (9) Jones from Abergavenny each snorkelling two lengths of the bog to raise money for Ty Hafan Children's Hospice. They don't have a JustGiving page so if you would like to support these fantastic kids please call 07811482832. When I look at their photo I feel quite ashamed of myself for putting on a full length wetsuit before I could be coaxed into the bog. Ellie and Arrun, I promise to do better next year.

Ireland’s Julia Galvin is a legendary figure on the Bog Snorkelling Circuit and she had just been bestowed the title of Dame Julia Galvin by the Hutt River Province, Western Australia for representing and promoting the Principality at International Novelty Sports.
We had the most amazing weekend in Wales and met some wonderful people. It is hard to believe Sheelagh Tompkins and everyone at Green Events are all volunteers and have done this for 25 years simply for the reward of bringing visitors to their beautiful town. For the funniest August Bank Holiday weekend ever, we can highly recommend a visit to the World Bog Snorkelling Championships.

See you all 'neighxt' year? 

Fundraiser Extraordinaire - Joel Hicks

This year FunSwimShop became the sponsors of the 25th World International Bog Snorkelling Championships in Llanwrytd Wells, Wales. The event took place on Sunday 29th August and attracted record number of crowds and competitors, especially in the fancy dress category. A lot of the fancy dress entries were raising money for charity and I wanted to share some of the wonderful stories with you.

Who would have thought that the face behind the Grim Reaper was none other than Joel Hicks (fundraiser extraordinaire), who was making a welcome return to the bog snorkelling scene for the first time since 2006.

Joel's website is called always with a smile and his remarkable journey all began with the World Bog Snorkelling Championships in 2006.

After a fantastic day, during which he performed a bog snorkelling "Haka", he began to wonder what other weird, wonderful and wacky events he could get involved in, in order to raise money for good causes and to just put a smile on people's faces.

By the end of that year he had taken part in the Great Gorilla Run in London, a number of multi-terrain cross country races, as well as a Santa Dash in Liverpool where he was chosen from more than 5000 runners to receive the 'Best Dressed Santa' award .

He travels all across the UK and abroad competing in crazy sports, weird championships and absurd traditions in order to raise money for various local and national charities, whilst putting a smile on the face of as many people as he possibly can! Always in fancy dress, no event is too outrageous, too muddy, too wet or too wacky!  Whether he's falling, flying, diving, running, jumping or crawling you can guarantee he'll be taking part.

Please visit always with a smile to see what else Joel has been up to recently and perhaps make a donation while you are there?

Personally I preferred the bog snorkelling outfit from 2006!

September 06, 2010

Girl Power Meets Horsepower!

This year FunSwimShop became the sponsors of the 25th World International Bog Snorkelling Championships in Llanwrytd Wells, Wales. The event took place on Sunday 29th August and we knew that we were in for a special treat! However nothing could prepare us for the bizarre spectacle of all the competitors clad in neoprene, next to nothing, or unbelievable fancy dress plunging into the unknown depths of the bog!

Most of the fancy dress entries seem to have a 'tail' to tell and my first muddy buddy is no exception. I would like to introduce you to the world's first bog snorkelling pantomime horse!

Eva Walters and Anne-Marie Beresford Webb were the front and back end respectively of 'Black Beauty' and took part in the event to raise money for cancer charities. Eva raised approximately £900 for Macmillan in memory of her grandmother and Anne-Marie raised approximately £750 for Velindre Cancer Centre in memory of her mum and dad.
Macmillan Cancer Support improves the lives of people affected by cancer. They provide practical, medical and financial support and push for better cancer care.Velindre Cancer Centre is the largest non-surgical cancer hospital in Wales, providing Radiotherapy, Chemotherapy and other specialised anti-cancer treatments for over half the people in Wales.

This event alone was a fantastic effort by both girls and more than some of us will raise for charity in a lifetime. However Anne-Marie is not finished yet! She has taken part in a number of events throughout the year and will shortly be climbing Mount Kilimanjaro! Not only that but when she returns to Wales she will take part in the Cardiff Half Marathon as well! You can read all about it by visiting her JustGiving page and hopefully you might be inspired to leave her a donation. I think she deserves it, don't you?