Three generations take the plunge for charity

Ian Sandison (74) from Colinsburgh - taking part in the Sue Ryder Big Swim in Elie
Ian Sandison (74) from Colinsburgh - taking part in the Sue Ryder Big Swim in Elie

IT’S not too late to dig out a wetsuit and dive in at the deep end of one of the most exciting summer fund-raising events of the year.

The charity Sue Ryder is urging people to take part in the third annual Big Scottish Swim event at Elie next Saturday (August 13).

Admittedly, some people might feel a wee bit nervous about swimming a mile in the North Sea, but they should take heart from Colinsburgh pensioner Ian Sandison.

The 74-year-old (pictured) took his first dip at Elie last year, raising an amazing £5000.

And he’s set to do it all over again next weekend with his ‘three men in a wet suit’ team, comprising USA-based son Jamie (46) and grandson Charlie (16).

“The swim is only two weeks before my 75 birthday, so it will be an early celebration having the boys at this event,” he said.

“After last year’s swim I told my supporters I would not be doing it again, but who could resist the opportunity to take part in these circumstances?

“They have thrown down the gauntlet but, being a seasoned swimmer, I may surprise them with a few strokes up my sleeve!

“Our target is that our combined times are less than 100 minutes.”

Fund-raiser Emma Wilson said Ian was a “shining example” to others.

She added: “Although the swim is not a race, we do feel the adrenaline rising with this family trio and we can understand the sentiment – no-one wants to lose to their dad!”

Participants are challenged to complete a one-mile swim, but a half-mile leg has been introduced this year for those new to open water swimming.

The half-mile swim starts at 2.15pm, followed by the one mile swim at 2.45pm.

Sue Ryder in Scotland supports people, with life-limiting, long-term and end of life care needs.

You can register for the swim online at or call Emma Wilson on 01592 657532 or 0782 728 3598.

Alternatively, email

Each swimmer will receive an event pack including a Sue Ryder swimming cap and sponsorship forms.

At the finish, participants will receive a well-deserved medal and snack for their efforts.