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Holbeach scout Ellie-Mae overcomes hate of the pool to swim 240-miles

Scout Ellie-Mae Belokon-Dennis, who is swimming 240 miles to help raise funds to go to the World Scout Jamboree in West Virginia, USA, next year.
Scout Ellie-Mae Belokon-Dennis, who is swimming 240 miles to help raise funds to go to the World Scout Jamboree in West Virginia, USA, next year.

Despite not being a big fan of the pool, scout Ellie-Mae Belokon-Dennis is undertaking a mammoth challenge to swim 240 miles.

The 14-year-old University Academy Holbeach student is trying to raise £2,500 to go to the World Scout Jamboree in America next year, after being selected at a special camping weekend.

Ellie-Mae and her mum Samantha.
Ellie-Mae and her mum Samantha.

While most youngsters might pick something they enjoy to try to raise the money, Ellie wanted to do something outside the box.

Her mum Samantha said: “She has not really been a swimmer and did not like going in the pool.

“But we said to her she needs to think about something a bit different to raise money.

“She said ‘I know what I can do - I can swim the equivalent distance of the UK to America’.

“I said to her what about the length of the place she is going to (West Virginia)?”

The distance is equivalent to 15,360 lengths of a 25 metre swimming pool.

Ellie has already started the swim and is fitting in time between school and scout training camps to complete the challenge at the Castle Sports pool in Spalding.

She said: “I wasn’t really into swimming before and I couldn’t swim many lengths but I can now do 50 in an hour. I’m really getting into it.”

Her mum also swims and says she thinks Ellie got the idea from that.

“Now she doesn’t want to get out of the pool,” Samantha added.

Ellie is joining five other local youngsters at the Scout Jamboree in 2019.

Nikki from 1st Moulton and Whaplode Scouts, Ben and Dominic from Holbeach Explorer Scouts and Maia and Lucy from Spalding Explorers were all also selected.

To be part of the 56-strong contingent from Lincolnshire and Leicestershire, they had to tackle various challenges including team building activities and social debates.

They will be representing British Scouts at the international camp, which is held every four years.

To support Ellie, go to www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/ellie-maeworldscoutjamboree2019


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