Scarborough swimmer tackling English Channel for Youth Focus

Jon McArdell, of Scarborough, after completing last year’s Rottnest Channel Swim.
Jon McArdell, of Scarborough, after completing last year’s Rottnest Channel Swim.

A SCARBOROUGH man is swimming the English Channel to raise money for youth mental health services.

Youth worker Jon McArdell is challenging himself to do the 32km channel crossing in an effort to raise $5000 for Youth Focus.

The 37-year-old has completed the Rottnest Channel Swim solo four times and is coached by successful English Channel swimmer Shelley Taylor-Smith, but knows the crossing will be a difficult feat.

“Swimming the English Channel really wasn’t on my radar, although it was something I had fleetingly considered,” he said.

“I hadn’t given it too much thought until this year. I’d been swimming well and thought why not?

“The English Channel (swim) will be the biggest thing I will ever do in my life.”

Mr McArdell swims 50km a week as part of his training regime, which includes 5am sessions in the Swan River.

He plans to attempt the swim early next month and expects it to take between 11 and 14 hours.

Through his work, Mr McArdell said he was aware of the strong need for youth mental health services.

“I’m a youth worker and have worked with young people for the past 10 years,” he said.

“I’m very passionate about youth mental health and particularly youth suicide prevention.

“It’s something that’s very close to my heart.”

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