Great gran takes plunge at Lyme Regis

Roberta Greenslade with her son, Malcolm and grandson Ben

Roberta Greenslade with her son, Malcolm and grandson Ben - Credit: Cancer Research UK

When Roberta Greenslade completed gruelling cancer treatment she celebrated with a swim in the open sea at Lyme Regis. 
Her life-long love of swimming had been put on hold for most of the summer after Mrs Greenslade, 87, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2018. 
She recalled: “One of my breasts felt a bit odd. I didn’t think it was a lump, it was rather a large swelling which felt far too big to be a lump. 
“That confused me as I thought it was small lumps we should look out for, more like a bean”. 
Mrs Greenslade, a mother-of-two who has five grandchildren and three great grandchildren, was referred to hospital where she had a mastectomy, followed by radiotherapy treatment. 
“I couldn’t swim during my treatment all that summer until I had heeled. I swam again at the first opportunity after my treatment had finished. I couldn’t wait to get back in the water”. 
Now Roberta is helping to highlight the positive power of swimming for individuals and charities by urging people in the South to sign up for the Swimathon Festival 2021. 
After a challenging year for many swimmers who missed out during the pandemic, she’s urging swimmers to swim 5k this autumn in the world’s largest annual swimming fundraiser to raise money for Cancer Research UK and Marie Curie. 
The festival of swimming is September 10 – 12, with the Swimathon and Open Water Swimathon events taking place on the same weekend for the first time at pools and venues across Dorset, Devon and the UK. 
People can participate individually or as part of a team and those who can’t make one of the organised sessions can sign up to MySwimathon, and choose a time and venue that suits them from September 13– 19.  
Roberta, who grew up in Devon, had started swimming in outdoor pools up on Dartmoor when she was a girl and never missed a chance to swim. 
“When I was a child neither of my parents swam but I was taught by a family friend,” she said. “My love of swimming has lasted all my life.” 

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