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Dad Kevin Dunne in 10km swim for inspirational daughter Hayleigh

By Lincolnshire Echo  |  Posted: October 15, 2012

Kevin Dunne training ahead of his gruelling fundraising challenge

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A dad has raised more than £1,000 after completing a 10km open water challenge in memory of his daughter who died in a car crash.

Kevin Dunne raised more than £1,000 for Brake, a charity which supports families of road accident victims.

Mr Dunne, 55, was the 67th of 651 finishers in the 6.2-mile River Dart Open Water Swim, from Totnes to Dittisham in Devon.

He completed the swim – the equivalent of 398 lengths of a standard 25m swimming pool – in 2 hours, 29 minutes and 29 seconds.

It was his second aquatic fundraiser this year in tribute to daughter Hayleigh, 23, who died in a crash in December 2010 near the family home at Misterton.

Mr Dunne, West Lindsey District Council community action officer, has already raised more than £1,150 for Brake.

And he put his success in the open water challenge down to a strict training regime.

“Hayleigh was the captain of South Axholme Sharks, where I was the head coach, and I’m now a member of the club’s masters section,” he said.

“Now I swim at the West Lindsey Leisure Centre in Gainsborough every morning for an hour before work.

“And I’ve been in the lake at Whisby near Lincoln twice a week to acclimatise to the cold temperatures.

“I heard about the Devon challenge through a friend and entered it as a sponsored event.

“It was a very hard swim in choppy waters and difficult conditions but my intense training paid off.”

The family has already given equipment to the First Responders team who turned out following Hayleigh’s accident, after raising £1,200 from another swim in Retford in February.

Now, Mr Dunne is gearing up for his next challenge.

He has entered the 2013 Outlaw Ironman at the Holme Pierrepont National Watersports Centre in Nottingham next July.

‘It was a hard swim in choppy waters’ @Kevin Dunne

“It’s just a 2.4-mile swim – followed by a 112-mile bike ride and a 26-mile marathon run,” he said. “But at the moment I’ve got a dodgy knee, so we’ll have to see how it all goes.”

Brake’s Clare Morrison said: “The charity is extremely grateful to Kevin for his incredible efforts.

“The fantastic amount he has raised and generously donated will enable us to continue our important work supporting road crash victims and spreading life-saving road safety messages.”

Donations can still be made at www.justgiving.com/Dunne0

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