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Paralympian Alice Tai conquers the English Channel with five aspiring open water swimmers

Following a nationwide search over six months ago, the five chosen participants have officially conquered the English Channel in a swim relay alongside Paralympic champion Alice Tai as part of Optimum Nutrition’s ‘Channel More’ project. The project aimed to inspire the participants to break through personal barriers and unleash their full potential.

The swim, which will be more than 21 miles, saw participants work together to battle strong currents, cold weather and 16 degrees Celsius water to finish the remarkable challenge in 8 hours, 49 minutes and 25 seconds. The swim was fuelled by leading sports nutrition brand Optimum Nutrition to aid participants in getting through the high-performance challenge, with a specific nutritional programme.

Each participant received a bespoke programme designed to optimise their individual training and exercise regimes. Including a breakdown of the specific products to consume and when such as Optimum Nutrition’s Gold Standard Pre-Workout Powder and Shots which can be consumed before and during exercise (respectively) to increase focus and reduce fatigue. After exercising, it was key to use products that repair and rebuild muscles. Optimum Nutrition’s Gold Standard Plant Protein Powder was a firm favourite by the group, specifically Alice who is a plant-based athlete, as was the brand’s new 100% vegan Clear Protein shake. Another product always in the kit bags of the team was the brand’s plant based Double Rich Chocolate protein bars for a quick, high protein hit.

One of Britain’s most inspiring athletes: Paralympic, World, Commonwealth & European para-swimming gold medallist, Alice Tai MBE led the charge on the challenge, working with Optimum Nutrition to select five incredible participants including: Hasfa Mughal from Waltham Forest, Seren Jones from East London, Tom Peters from Sheffield, Aidan Pritchard from Merton and Tony Willis from Surrey. The five participants were selected by Optimum Nutrition for their incredible personal stories and a demonstrated appetite to use sports performance as a lever to overcome personal barriers.

The team underwent a rigorous five-month training programme, created by open water specialist, sports scientist and former Olympian Professor Greg Whyte, all fuelled by Optimum Nutrition to prepare for the high-performance feat. The programme saw them transform from not having any formal sea swimming experience and in Hafsa’s case, no swimming experience at all, to accomplished open-water swimmers ready to take on the English Channel; embodying the belief that buried below the doubt and reservations, there’s always a little more inside all of us, just waiting to be unlocked.

On completing the challenge, Alice Tai MBE said: “I cannot believe we have just swum the English Channel! It’s been five months in the making of strict training, both physically and mentally to get prepared for the challenge. I feel overcome with emotions; there were points where it felt almost unachievable, but we came together as a team and really pushed our level endurance to keep going. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without Hasfa, Seren, Tom, Aiden and Tony but also without Professor Greg Whyte OBE, who has been so motivating and consistent with all of his training and support.

“Optimum Nutrition has been absolutely crucial for all of us to be able to complete the challenge. Without supplementing our food intake with the high-protein products, we wouldn’t have had the energy or the calories for our body to push through. I had previously said that with the right mindset, coaching and nutrition anything is possible, and that is certainly what happened!”

Alice Tai and the five aspiring swimmers were united in their desire to unlock more potential and hope to inspire others to be motivated to take on new challenges.

For more information about the Channel More Project, visit: www.optimumnutrition.com/en-gb/channelmore

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