How a retired Musgrove Nurse from Bridgwater overcame her lifelong fear of deep water to take on a marathon swim

Posted: 5th Mar 2019

Category: Health & Fitness


Many of us take for granted the pleasure of swimming with family and friends when we are on holiday or at the local swimming pool. But for a retired nurse from Bridgwater a lifelong fear of deep water kept Sue Potticary splashing in the shallows of her local pool. It wasn’t until at the age of 64 she finally decided to take the plunge and face her fears.  

Sue a former staff nurse at Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton was used to daily challenges in her working life but it wasn’t until a good friend encouraged her to learn to swim that she decided to take on a very different challenge by signing on for one to one swimming lessons at 1610 Trinity Sports & Leisure pool in Bridgwater.

She was guided by her 1610 swimming coach Jemma Watkins to learn to swim and is now aiming to take on her next swimming challenge by completing a sponsored swim marathon of a mile, or 64 lengths of the Trinity pool.

Sue says that swimming coach Jemma played a crucial role in helping her to overcome her fears; “I used to paddle about in the shallow end but never in a million years did I think I would be able to do what I am doing now. Jemma is a fantastic instructor she has tried every trick in the book to get me to swim. I would panic standing at the pool steps or if I moved beyond the flags by the pool but now with Jemma’s help I have left the steps and the flags behind and I go down to the bottom of the pool and float back up like a champagne cork. I absolutely love it, it has been the most wonderful experience.”

The marathon swim will take place on Tuesday March 12 at Trinity pool and is in aid of the children’s Acorn Ward and the Cardiology Fielding Ward at Musgrove Park Hospital. Sue has raised a hundred pounds so far but hopes for more support from the local community;

“Ninety five percent of people in the local area will use Musgrove’s services at some point in their lives and the staff do a fantastic job under the most difficult of circumstances at times, I do hope local people will be able to support me in my swim and I would like to thank 1610 for their help with this challenge.”

Anyone wishing to support Sue’s challenge should contact Trinity Sports & Leisure in Bridgwater Tel 01278 429119. Sue will attempt her marathon swim at Trinity pool at 9.30am Tuesday 12 March.