Coronavirus: Dubai girl swims 50km at home to raise money for frontline workers

Chloe Andrews swam for 14 hours and raised Dh15,000 for charity

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A Dubai girl swam 50 kilometres at home to raise money and support frontline workers in the fight against Covid-19.

Chloe Andrews, 12, from the UK, successfully completed more than 8,000 laps of her 6-metre pool, which is more than the distance between England and France.

Chloe swam for 14 hours and raised almost Dh15,000 for charity through her page on Yalla Give, an online donation and crowdfunding platform in the region.

The proceeds will go to support Doctors Without Borders (MSF), an international medical charity.

Chloe Andrews successfully completed 7,770 laps of her six-metre pool. Courtesy - The Andrews family

Chloe was inspired to take up the challenge after she watched Second World War veteran Capt Tom Moore, 99, who has raised almost Dh130 million for UK health workers by walking laps of his garden.

I did the first 25km on Friday and the rest on Saturday

“I wanted to find a global organisation that was fighting against Covid-19 and that’s what made me pick MSF,” said the Dubai College pupil.

She swam last weekend, completing 25km each day. The event was streamed live on Facebook.

“At times I felt a bit dizzy but I just kept going. I did the first 25km on Friday and the rest on Saturday,” Chloe said.

“The hardest part was starting in the morning on Saturday realising I was only halfway there.”

Greg Andrews, Chloe’s father, put up umbrellas and sheets over the outdoor pool to keep the water from heating up as the temperature in Dubai rose to about 40°C.

Greg Andrews, Chloe’s father, recording the time as she swims for 14 hours. Courtesy - The Andrews family

Chloe plans to swim the English Channel in the future.

“I am passionate about sports and want to swim the actual Channel, and I think I’ve shown I am able to do it,” she said.

“That’s what I want to do with my life. I want to follow in the footsteps of my heroes like Serena Guthrie, who plays netball for England, and the swimmer Rebecca Adlington.”

Her father said he was incredibly proud of his daughter.

“Like most families, we’ve been at home for weeks," Greg said.

"Chloe was inspired by the various sport feats around the world, from people running marathons on their balconies to Tom Moore raising so much money in the fight against the coronavirus.

“She is a very determined girl and there was no stopping her when she decided to attempt this feat.”

Mario Stephan, the executive director of MSF, commended Chloe for her efforts.

“We were delighted to hear about Chloe’s fundraiser and were staggered by her persistence, dedication and resilience,” Mr Stephan said.

“We are also very grateful to our donors and fundraisers for their continuous support of the work we do.”