Pool bosses swap warm waters for a cold dock

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TWO Doncaster leisure centre managers who joined forces to get fit in their gyms have now taken the plunge and competed in one of the biggest open water competitions.

Lee Elliot, manager of St James Leisure Centre and Stephen Wall, manager of Askern Leisure Centre, took the plunge in the cold waters of the Royal Victoria Dock in London, to take part in The British Gas Great London Swim 2011.

The event is the biggest open water swim in the south of England with 6,000 competitors and is in its fourth year.

Stephen completed the event in 31minutes 47 seconds but was just pipped to the post by best friend Lee who finished in 30 minutes 37 seconds

The pair decided they would take part after they started trying to get fit together through swimming two years ago.

Stephen, aged 52, and Lee, 53, met 34 years ago when they both started working as leisure attendants.

Askern manager Stephen said: “We have always been good swimmers and we still have to continue to take our life guarding qualifications because of our line of work.”

The friends began training two years ago and last year started taking part in open water swims for the first time, ranging from one to three miles.

Stephen said: “We both started getting more health conscious as we got older and so began taking advantage of the lane swimming sessions within the pools at Doncaster to build up our fitness, which then went on to us getting involved in outdoor swim events.”

Stephen added: “It was a great day and a fantastic atmosphere - doing it together is also a good motivator as we spur each other on, and a bit of friendly rivalry also helps!”