On Saturday 10th August George Gray, an employee of Volkswagen, along with 3 colleagues, will complete stage 2 of his 4 Rivers Challenge at Shaw’s Bridge Belfast.

On 22nd October 2014, a knock on the door from the police changed George’s family’s life forever. Their darling son James had taken his own life at the age of 20.  He was in his second year at St Andrew’s University.

In order to challenge and deal with his grief a friend invited George to join their triathlon team as a swimmer and so began his passion for cold water swimming.  Cold water swimming places stress on the body physically and mentally.  Many studies have shown the benefits of cold water swimming for improving mental and physical health including:

  • Boosting the Immune system
  • Provides an endorphin high
  • Enhances circulation
  • Increased libido
  • Calorie Burn
  • Stress Reduction

George, along with 3 colleagues, will be participating in ‘The 4 Rivers Challenge’ to raise Mental Health Awareness and support the work of MIND, SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health) and Inspire. The team of 4 are swimming in 4 Rivers, in 4 Cities over 4 Seasons to highlight the 1 in 4 people who will experience mental ill health at some stage in their lives. 

The first leg of the challenge was completed in Edinburgh in May.

Spring (25 May 10:00) – Port Edgar, Edinburgh, the Forth. 1.1km – Complete
Summer (10 August 10:00) –Belfast, Shaw’s Bridge, the Lagan. 1.8km
Autumn (12 October 10:00) –Cardiff, the Taff. 0.8km
Winter (7 December 10:00) –London, the Serpentine. 0.5km

How can you get involved?

  1. Share this event with your friends.
  2. Please come along to Shaw’s Bridge Boathouse on Saturday 10th August and support the swimmers.                                                                             
  3. Last but not least, read more about the swimmers and why they are taking part and please sponsor them at https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/GeorgeGray5

 To read more about the benefits of cold water swimming click here

See below, map of the Belfast Swim