Flintshire swimmer helps the victims of Japan tsunami

Reporter:

Rebecca Lennard

A KEEN young swimmer has gone to great lengths to raise money for a charity set up in the aftermath of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami.

James Holmes, 13, from Rhydymwyn, a year nine pupil at Mold Alun High School, swam 80 lengths of the 25 metre pool in Connahs Quay continuously for 60 minutes.

A member of Deeside Disability Swimming Group James, who has high functioning Asperger’s Syndrome and ADHD, is hoping to raise a substantial amount of money from the hour-long sponsored swim for the Japanese Disaster Fund.

A keen swimmer James meets with other members the swimming group at Connah’s Quay swimming pool every Friday. He also swims at Chester Terrapins, another disability swimming group, every Monday night.

However, he has only been training for the fundraising event since he learned of the disaster that occurred in Japan last month.

James wants to help the country because his older brother, Chris Holmes, was one of six Flintshire students to be chosen to travel there last summer as part of the Optec Japanese Youth Exchange Programme, run through Flintshire Council.

Six Japanese students visited Flintshire for two weeks and the British students travelled back to Japan with them, also for two weeks.

The students were from areas devastated by the disaster and James wanted to help in his own way by raising vital funds for the victims.

Thankfully all of the students from Japan are safe and well.

James’ Mother, Jan Holmes, 51, said: “James has seen pictures and videos on TV and heard from his brother about the disaster, it makes it more realistic for him because he knows six people from the area.”

She added: “He did amazingly well, he kept going for the full hour and wouldn’t give up.”

The teenager is no stranger to fundraising activities, last August he shaved all his long blond hair off for the Little Princess Trust.

His locks were then donated to the charity to be made into wigs for children suffering hair loss through treatment for  cancer.

Half of the the amount of money raised was also donated to James’ local church in Rhydymwyn.

See full story in the Leader

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