NEWSOME woman Beverley Thomas is making big waves in swimming circles.
Hardy swimmer and marathon runner Beverley, of Blagden Lane, has just been installed as president of the British Long Distance Swimming Association (BLDSA) at its annual meeting in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire.
It is an honour and a deserved one.
Swimming is a family affair and Beverley, who works at Lowerhouses Junior and Infants School, took up the sport at the age of 10 with her parents and sister Catherine some 43 years ago.
Since then she has swum in lakes and seas around Britain.
She used to regularly train at Slaithwaite’s Sparth Reservoir and in 2004 swam the full length of Lake Windermere – more than 10 miles.
She was also a member of a cross-Channel relay team, but had to abandon the challenge when one of the swimmers became violently seasick.
Undeterred, Beverley plans to give it another go with a team of four to six swimmers in July next year.
She said: “Swimming is a family affair.
“We all started together as a family.
My Dad, Catherine and myself are life members of the BLDSA.
“I’ll be following in my father’s footsteps as he has twice been president and my two sons Daniel and Matthew man the rescue boat at the championship swims.”
Beverley does not have any special clothing or preparations for her outdoor swims, she just wears a normal swimming costume, cap and goggles.
She added: “It is always cold when you first get into the water, but once you have been in a couple of minutes, you soon warm up.”
Beverley has a busy year ahead and will be travelling around Britain from the South coast to Scotland in her official role as president.
She only intends to enter a couple of events in 2011 as she wants to be on the lakeside to greet and congratulate the long- distance swimmers after the races.
However, true to form, she will not be putting her feet up. In May, Beverley will be running in the Windermere Marathon, her 12th.
She has run the London Marathon several times with her training partner, Newsome butcher Raymond Carroll.