The Graham Shapiro Swim Challenge

Graham Shapiro is an award-winning British inventor, designer & digital entrepreneur. When he signed up to do a bespoke swim challenge with Swim the Lakes to raise money in support of his charitable foundation we were thrilled. Graham has achieved so much in business and has shown an impressive commitment to giving back to society through his extensive charity work. The Graham Shapiro Foundation is a charity that supports mental health, well-being, innovation, and young entrepreneurialism in the UK. In addition to its own charity work, Graham’s Foundation is also the benefactor of many very worthy causes. These include Help for Heroes and the mental health charity MIND, currently supporting frontline healthcare workers and NHS staff during the current Covid-19 crisis.

Graham’s 2021 Swim Challenge is taking place on 11-13 July and will help to raise money for the foundation. The Just Giving page for this challenge can be found here, please give what you can:

What is the Graham Shapiro Swim Challenge?

The Challenge is to swim across all of the major lakes in the Lake District in two days: 1 Man | 8 Lakes | 48 hours | 9,200m of swimming

Graham Shapiro Swim Challenge_Foundation

Each swim, taken on its own is very achievable. Yet as each hour progresses the workload and exposure to cold and fatigue will begin to take their toll. This is an easy challenge to begin but a tough challenge to finish.

Taking on the most iconic lakes in this region will be a real adventure. Despite their accessibility these lakes can become wild and intimidating places for a lone swimmer if the weather conditions change. Just getting to some of our swim locations will be a hard work! We will be travelling through the most dramatic scenery in the region and over all of the high Lake District mountain passes.

Swim the Lakes are very excited to be guiding Graham during this challenge and will do everything to ensure that he sees each swim safely through to the end in July. Swim the Lakes swim store and guiding business has been based in Ambleside, Britain’s Adventure Capital, for over 16 years. We have been the driving force behind the development of adventure swimming in the Lake District. The Lakes is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the finest swimming locations in the world. We are very lucky to have it on our doorstep. For more on what we offer outdoor swimmers, see the links below.

We are also very grateful for the support of Zone 3 Wetsuits in providing us all with wetsuits for this challenge… thanks fellas 🙂

Zone 3 Sponsor Shapiro Swim Challenge

A Little bit About Graham Shapiro and his Foundation

Graham founded the Graham Shapiro Foundation in 2019 in order to establish a real way to support mental health and wellbeing. The Foundation also seeks to inspire innovation and young entrepreneurialism in the UK. Raising donations for his Foundation has seen Graham complete multiple Ironman events and we are sure he has it in him to complete our swim challenge this year.

Graham Shapiro Swim Challenge IronmanMontage

Graham is an award-winning British inventor, designer & digital entrepreneur. A Freeman of the City of London, a Fellow member of The Chartered Society of Designers and Chartered Institute of Marketing. An Ambassador of Innovation for The University of Cambridge and Chairman of Arcet Global. Graham invented the interloopmailer® and Reggie®.

His visual communication company Graham Shapiro Design (GSD®) has worked with some of the world’s most respected companies for nearly 25 years.

In 2009 Graham suffered a brain spasm, suspected bleed on the brain. The cause was stress related. Some of his very close family members have passed away or suffered with severe mental health issues. He passionately wanted to help to support mental health and well-being but to also know where the financial contributions would be going directly to make a difference. The answer was to setup his own Foundation. The other aspect of the Charity is to support young entrepreneurialism in the UK. Graham commented: “The Foundation’s aim is to help young entrepreneurs believe in their dreams and help support them to become who they want to be.”

We sincerely hope that our efforts to support and complete Graham Shapiro’s Great Lake District Swim Challenge will be successful. All the best with your training Graham, and of course good luck during the swim itself…  Train hard, race easy!

Happy swimming,

From the Swim the Lakes Team

Related Links:

Swim the Lakes Guided Swimming Trips

Swim the Lakes Outdoor Swimming Courses

Where to Swim in the Lake District

The Great Lake District Swim Challenge