Galashiels woman creating history by swimming the Tweed

A Galashiels woman has embarked on the mammoth challenge of swimming and trekking 100km of the Tweed to bolster the lifesaving work of Borders Water Rescue Team.

By Paul Kelly
Tuesday, 20th July 2021, 6:28 pm
Lynda Stoddart. (Photo: BILL McBURNIE)
Lynda Stoddart. (Photo: BILL McBURNIE)

Lynda Stoddart is taking on the effort to raise funds for the rescue team and to help promote water safety education.

The Trekking the Tweed venture from Lyne Station to Berwick is a joint partnership between Selkirk and Galashiels Rotary Clubs, the water rescue team and Leithen Water Paddlers.

Lynda, a former president of Gala rotary, launched her fundraising adventure from Lyne Station to Innerleithen last weekend, to be followed by two more consecutive weekends of swimming and trekking.

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Lynda Stoddart. (Photo: BILL McBURNIE)

Since arriving in Scotland from Zimbabwe more than quarter of a century ago, Lynda has developed a love for and an affinity with the Tweed.

But the first stage of her three-pronged challenge at the weekend proved somewhat tricky.

She explained: “The water is so low at the minute and there was a lot more trekking and commander rolling through the water than actual swimming.

“The guys from Border Water Rescue have been really great support and a fair number of folk have come along to watch and shout us on.

"I’m doing the whole thing but on Saturday I had two folk join me at different stages and on Sunday one of the girls who joined me for part of it decided she wanted to do the whole thing with me.

"One of the things we are really conscious of is that while swimming increased five fold because of lockdown, there’s more and more people going into cold water that don’t know the risks.

"One of the things we want to do is more promotion on water education. So when we do the trekking we not swimming through any of the weirs, we’re walking around the weirs and adopting really good practices while doing the trek.

"Obviously it has been kayaked before but as far as I am aware it has never been swam or trekked, so there may be a bit of history being created.

“The hardest part of the challenge is staying in the water, the cold water endurance is going to be pivotal.”

Donations can be made by texting TWEEDTREK to 70085.