Youth swimmers nearing English Channel attempt

EAST ISLES — Eight youth swimmers planning a relay crossing of the English Channel will depart July 21 for Dover, England, the YWCA of Minneapolis announced this week.

The members of the YWCA Minneapolis Otters youth swim team, aged 14-16, will attempt the 25-mile crossing the week of July 22. Their coach, Dave Cameron, plans a solo double-crossing of the channel during the week of August 5.

The crossings are a part of the YWCA Swim for Change Campaign, an effort to raise awareness about disparities in access to swimming opportunities that contribute to higher drowning rates for minority groups when compared to whites. Children of color are 2.6 times more likely to drown than their white counterparts, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report.

The members of the YWCA Minneapolis Otters swim team set a goal of raising $60,000 to support swimming lessons, swim team scholarships and lifeguard training for children and youth underrepresented in those programs. To contribute online, visit www.ywcampls.org/channel.

The exact day and time of each crossing will depend on tide and weather conditions.