Fundraising runs (and swims) in the family
Wednesday 18th October 2017 @ 15:34 by Tom Greggan
Denton & Audenshaw News

A sporty family from Denton are preparing to take on a series of endurance challenges to raise money in memory of a beloved mother and grandmother.

Antonietta Oxby and her two children, George and Siena, are no strangers to getting active. George and Siena are avid swimmers while Antonietta is a keen endurance runner, but all three will be pushing themselves in the name of charity.

First, eleven-year-old George and Siena, nine, will swim the equivalent of the English Channel- all 22 miles- between now and Christmas.

Both George and Siena are rarely out of the water. They are part of three different swimming clubs; Stockport Metro Life Leisure, Romiley Marina Swimming Club and Hyde Seals A.S.C.

The idea for them to ‘swim the channel’ has been in the pipeline for while but now, they’ll be swimming 1416 lengths of a 25m pool, spread over around 15 sessions.

Antonietta explained: “We first thought of the idea to swim the equivalent of the channel about a year ago. They were going to try and do it last year but with all my running and all my training it was quite difficult. Now, the aim is to do it before Christmas.

“It’s something the kids wanted to do because they are keen swimmers. They’ve done swims before for charity and so it’s the ideal thing for them to do.”

“It’s 22 miles, which is 1416 lengths of a 25m pool. If they try to do about 2400 metres per sessions, that would be over 14 sessions to do. That would be 96 lengths, which is easy for them!”

Antonietta will be joining her children for the swim but her biggest challenge yet will be in May next year when she attempts to run 100km from London to Brighton. She has run two ultra-marathons before, but the gruelling test will be almost twice as long as anything she has done before. It would be an incredible achievement for Antonietta, who has only been running for five years.

It was the death of her mum, Teresa Veritiero, that inspired her. “My mum died in November 2011 after she’d been ill for quite some time. When she passed away, I thought I just need to do something. It’s helped me a lot. I wasn’t a runner beforehand.

“The month after she died, I saw an advert for the Manchester Marathon, so I thought ‘Why not?’ On January 9th I started training and about 16 weeks later I ran my first marathon. Five years later and I’ve ran eleven marathons and two ultra marathons.”

All the effort put in by the Oxby’s will be for Bernardos, a charity close to the family’s heart. Antonietta explained: “My mum was from a very poor background in Italy. She was begging on the streets when she was 4 years old. She was one of ten children, of whom only four survived, and her parents died when she was very young. She went to live with another family in Italy who brought her up, treated her well and they’re still family to us now.

“If things would have been different then and there had been a charity like Bernardos, then things could have been very different for my mum and it could have been different now. A lot of her problems were due to malnutrition in her younger days. She came from a very poor area of Italy so she had a bad start to life.”

To sponsor Antonietta, George and Siena for their remarkable challenges, then head to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/toni-oxby1.