Kiel makes a splash in open water challenge

BENDIGO teen Kiel Chamberlain is set to dive into the open Melbourne waters on Sunday.

The impressive swimmer will participate in the Open Water Swim alongside some of the state’s best.

But Kiel isn’t just a typical 16-year-old.

He is legally blind.

In the pool, Kiel’s friends help him swim his laps and count down his stokes.

Kiel has been swimming at Bendigo’s Paul Sadler Swimland since he was eight.

Pool manager Dwayne Townrow said the young swimmer was an inspiration.

“He is a very athletic person who is driven,” he said.

“Regardless of the challenges he faces he is determined to be a good role model for his friends and for other people who don’t feel confident in the water.

“We are very proud of what Kiel has been able to achieve.”

Townrow said Kiel was in the highest swimming level at the club, swimming a 50-metre freestyle in 43 seconds.

“Kiel is now going for his swimming diploma after he just completed his charcoal tasks,” he said.

“He did a 1.5-kilometre freestyle swim, 200-metre medley, 30-second breathing regulation and a 50-metre approach.”

On Sunday, Kiel will swim in the Open Water challenge at Brighton Pier as part of a special Paul Saddler Swim program.

The initiative aims to challenge swimmers to get out of the pool and into the ocean.

Marathon swimmer John Van Wisse will also be on hand to aid the swimmers.

Townrow said Kiel was more than capable of adjusting to the ocean waters.

The Open Water Swim begins at 10am on Sunday.

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