A SOLDIER who was seriously injured in a bomb blast in Afghanistan is to swim with great white sharks next month.

Sgt Rick Clement, who used to live in Chatburn, will undertake the challenge in South Australia to raise money for his own charity A Soldier’s Journey.

Sgt Clement, 32, set up the organisation after suffering hossrific injuries while serving with the 1st Batallion the Duke of Lancaster’s regiment.

The former Clitheroe Royal Grammar School pupil said: “It’s really important that soldiers who are wounded on the battlefield have access to the very best care and equipment.

“I have set up this charity to work alongside the major national armed forces charities, to ensure the suffering these men and women experience following their injuries is made as easy as possible.

“I hope lots of people will help me to raise these vital funds by sponsoring me on my great white shark swim.”

Money raised through the charity is donated to the British Limbless Ex Service Men's Association, the Soldiers', Sailors' and Airmen's Families Association, ABF The Soldiers charity and Help for Heroes.

Sgt Clement, who has funded the trip himself, will swim with the sharks on February 4, in Port Lincoln.

A Soldier’s Journey has so far collected more than £24,000.

Sgt Clement carried the Olympic Torch as it came through Blackpool, where he now lives, and has also taken part in other fundraising events to help the charity.

To sponsor him on his shark dive or for more information about the charity go to www.a-soldiers-journey.co.uk