Shropshire Star

Jack gets back into the swim to raise funds for cancer charity

A local artist blacksmith, who used to represent Team GB as an open-water swimmer, is once again back in the water, this time in aid of a charity with a family link.

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Jack Sampson

Jack Sampson will be attempting just over 26 miles at The Quarry Swimming & Fitness Centre in Shrewsbury, to support of Prostate Cancer UK, following his father’s shock diagnosis with the condition in December last year.

Jack has been a blacksmith since he was 14, and a full-time smith since 2018 when he gained his BA in Artist Blacksmithing BA from the Hereford School of Arts, the only place in the UK to offer that degree.

The craft took over from swimming as his focus when his competitive career came to an end in 2016, and he has not really swum much since. That changed when he heard the news about his dad, Mark.

“My dad has always been an inspiration to me, so I’m doing this swim for him and to show support for a charity that does so much to help people living with this disease," said Jack.

"With my swimming background, getting back in the water felt like the best way for me to do my bit. I haven’t properly swam for years, but the news about my dad was the spur I needed to return to the pool.

“I’m swimming a marathon at The Quarry centre between January and the end of March 2024. I would like to thank the team at the centre for allowing me access to the pool for this charity challenge.”

Rhys Collins, partnership manager for Shropshire Community Leisure Trust, which operates the Shropshire Council-owned Quarry Swimming and Fitness Centre, said: “We’re pleased to offer Jack use of the recently reopened main pool at The Quarry. His marathon swim will hopefully raise lots of money, while increasing awareness of a disease that affects so many.”

Jack added: “My dad is currently doing well, which is all that matters. But if anyone would like to donate via my Just Giving page, it would be hugely appreciated. I’m heading towards the 10 mile mark currently, so there’s still a fair way to go.”

Supporters can contribute online at

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