Ilkley swimming teacher who swam Chanel nominated for Yorkshire Choice award



A SWIMMING teacher is hoping to beat off competition from world-class athletes to be named a winner in the Yorkshire Choice Awards.

Christine Bradley, 50, of Silsden, achieved a life's ambition last year when she swam the English Channel, training for the challenge in Ilkley Lido.

She had stopped swimming at 12 years old after being hit by an articulated lorry, narrowly avoiding having a leg amputated and leaving her badly scarred.

But after switching from a desk job in IT two years ago to become a fitness coach, and battling her weight, she completed the Channel swim in September last year - a distance of just under 40 miles in a time of 18 hours and 56 minutes.

Although she had completed a relay crossing as part of a team a year earlier, she had only ever swum for seven hours without a break.

And now she has been nominated for a sporting achievement award - along with triathletes Jonathan and Alistair Brownlee, from Bramhope, Paralympian wheelchair racer, Hannah Cockroft, from Halifax, and Harrogate Cricket Club.

Christine, who also teaches at Ilkley Swimming Club, said she felt overwhelmed to be included in a group which included so many inspirational athletes.

"I work hard in my sports, I train hard but never see myself as a great success - I am so flattered that people find my story inspirational, and this award would be the icing on the cake," she said.

"I'm incredibly proud to be listed amongst some fantastic athletes in the Yorkshire region. I also like to think that people look to me and think if she can do well sure I can - being sporty doesn't come naturally to me, and I have got here without trainers, nutritionists and all the specialist kit."

Voting for the Yorkshire Choice Awards is now open and will run until March 1. Last year, more than 88,000 people voted for a total of more than 300 nominees in 12 different categories covering business, inspiration and outstanding contribution. Winners will be announced at a gala dinner at The Centenary Pavilions, Leeds United, hosted by Christa Ackroyd on April 1.

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