A SPORTING headteacher swam the 11.5 mile length of Windermere without a wetsuit for charity.

Nigel Dawson, head of Fearns Community Sports College, in Stacksteads, was one of 34 swimmers to brave the chilly lake, which only himself and one other swimmer completed.

The head, who also teaches PE, is no stranger to physical challenges, having cycled from Land’s End to John O’Groats, ran three marathons, walked the Coast-to-Coast and completed five solo parachute jumps.

Mr Dawson, 44, said: “I used to do a lot of sprint swimming and I decided to go return to the sport because running has damaged my knees and I needed a challenge.”

Mr Dawson raised £300 through the swim for Ugandan charity TUSC, which helps sick children get to hospital.

TUSC founder Carol Mitchell said: “I am absolutely delighted and very pleased for him. It must have been incredibly difficult.

“The fact that he has done this to give an advantage for children on the other side of the world doubles its worth to me.”