14 July 2021

JM Finn’s Royden swims Lake Geneva

Head of research at JM Finn, Sir John Royden, is looking to become only the 8th person to swim the entire length of Lake Geneva unsupported.

by John Royden

Head of Research


Sir John, 56, who successfully swam the English Channel in 1993, is hoping to swim the 42.8 mile Lake in 36 hours.  He will swim non-stop, day and night, and tread water every hour whilst he is fed from a support boat.

John is raising much-needed funds for The Brain Tumour Charity and to date has raised over £280,000 in memory of his sister, Emma who succumbed to a brain tumour at the age of 32. He is also swimming in memory of his friend and mentor, former head of research at JM Finn, Geordie Kidston.

Sir John commented: “Brain tumours are the biggest cancer killer of children and adults under 40 in the UK, yet only garners 3% of the £600m annual spend on cancer research. There are over 88,000 people living with brain tumours in the UK today, yet treatments and survival rates have barely changed in 40 years. With The Brain Tumour Charity’s ambitious goal of doubling survival rates and halving the harm on quality of life for patients, I have long been keen to do something in memory of my sister Emma and this “trophy swim” felt like the perfect challenge.”

John, who has been training all year, has been hampered by the lockdowns but has overcome closed swimming pools and travel restrictions by tethering himself to trees and swimming against the current in mill ponds, training with the next generation of Channel swimmers in Dover Harbour when allowed; and even, in the middle of last winter, rigging up a “dry” training bench in an old shed in the garden.

He has now completed four 10-hour swims and is confident of success; however, the last challenge might well be the travel restrictions in place, meaning a greater reliance on his logistics team and a period of isolation pre- and post-swim, which takes place at the end of July.

To support John in his fund raising efforts, visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/johnsmadswim

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