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A Nescot Sports student is aiming to raise £2,000 for a Down Syndrome charity by swimming the equivalent of the Channel over three weeks.

Conor Macauley-Conway is swimming 1500 metres, or 60 lengths, every day at a pool in Epsom, ending on World Down Syndrome Day on March 21.

He is asking for sponsorship for Down Syndrome Swimming Great Britain (DSS-GB), or for people to join him to swim some lengths or to walk alongside the pool.

“The challenge is going well, but I’m feeling really tired,” said Level 1 student Conor, who also takes part in parkruns and plays football.

“The fundraising is keeping me motivated, and I appreciate every donation I get. The charity will put it to good use supporting people with Down Syndrome.”

Conor won two bronze medals at the Down Syndrome European Championships in Italy last October, as well as winning gold in the 1500m open sea swim in the Special Olympics in 2019, and is now training for the World Championships in Portugal in autumn.

As well as raising funds for DSS-GB, he is hoping his swimming challenge will help to raise awareness and understanding of Down Syndrome.

“I want people to be recognised for being special in their own way,” he said. “I’m hoping that the challenge will inspire people with Down Syndrome, and show others what we’re capable of.”

Matt Lavallin, Head of Sport, Travel and Uniformed Public Services at Nescot, praised Conor’s fundraising and his work ethic.

“Conor is balancing swimming long distances every day with his studies, and he’s doing really well,” Matt said. “The whole department is behind him and will continue to support him in any way we can.”

DSS-GB is a volunteer-led charity which enables young people and adults with T21 or Mosaic Down Syndrome to reach their potential as elite swimmers.

The charity provides resources for swimmers to gain classification and to share specialist training, health and nutrition, as well as giving them the opportunity to compete nationally and internationally.

Down Syndrome, or Trisomy 21, happens when a person is born with an ‘extra’ chromosome, resulting in a needs profile that typically includes intellectual and physical disability and medical issues.

Nescot offers Sport at Level 1, 2 and 3, as well as university-level study. To find out more about qualifications for school leavers click here, and for Higher Education click here. To donate to Conor's fundraising click here.