Cub Ivan, 8, nears Selkirk swim finish

Ivan Burt-Smith (8) who will be swimming 22 miles (1416 lengths)  at Selkirk Swimming Pool to raise funds for a new roof for Selkirk Scout Group hall
Ivan Burt-Smith (8) who will be swimming 22 miles (1416 lengths) at Selkirk Swimming Pool to raise funds for a new roof for Selkirk Scout Group hall

COMMITTED fundraiser Ivan Burt-Smith, aged eight, has just 148 lengths to go to swim the distance of the English Channel.

The Selkirk cub is swimming 22 miles – 1,416 lengths – of the town’s swimming pool to raise money to help reslate the local scout hall roof.

And the plucky youngster is on target to finish on Tuesday at 6.30pm when supporters are welcome at the pool.

Proud mum Jan said yesterday: “He had a bit of a slow start this week because he’s got a cough, but he did a mile (over 60 lengths) last night.”

Highlight of his week last week, though, was being on the same Radio 2 sports bulletin on Saturday as Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini.

Jan said: “Ivan is a big Man City fan and he was thrilled!”

Now she is urging supporters to email the Simon Mayo programme to lobby for Ivan to be interviewed by Radio 2 sports reporter Matt Williams.

The Kirkhope primary schoolboy has already been interviewed by local BBC radio reporter Richard Gordon.

The young fundraiser usually swims around 50 lengths per hour-long session and hopes to finish his Channel in about 24 hours.

Meanwhile, Jan thinks her son’s efforts may have raised over £1,000 towards the roof repairs in Mill Street.

She said: “It’s wonderful. I think he deserves a lot for what he is doing: it would be nice if we could get £1 for every length.”