Boy’s epic swim for his grandad

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A seven-year-old boy is taking the plunge to raise money for the hospice which cared for his grandad during his final days.

Curtis Mewse, a member of Leeds City Swimming Squad, is using his aquatic skills to swim 26 miles to boost funds for St Gemma’s Hospice.

Last year Curtis, then aged six, took part in the Moortown-based hospice’s ‘Swim the Channel’ campaign, pounding the pool for 21 miles over seven weeks to raise more than £1,400 for the charity.

His efforts caught the attention of TV star Paul O’Grady and the youngster appeared on his chat show.

This time Curtis is making a splash in memory of his grandad, Allen Knaggs, who he loved to ‘bits and pieces’.

A keen golfer, father-of-two and husband to Susan, Allen was 68 years old when he died at the hospice.

Curtis said: “I spent hours with my grandad playing and building things together. He taught me how to build a space rocket to fly to the moon, and always took me to the comic shop, but then he fell ill and needed caring for by the lovely staff at St.Gemma’s before he died and went to live in the stars.

“I think Grandad would be proud and I hope he’s watching and cheering me on from his star.”

Curtis, of Barwick-in-Elmet, is taking part in the ‘Swim a Marathon’ pool challenge in aid of the hospice and has already had £310 pledged.

His target this time is to swim 1,671 lengths of a 25 metre swimming pool.

The youngster has 12 weeks in which to complete the challenge, starting from April 4, but hopes to finish it in just 10 weeks.

Curtis’s grandma, Susan, said: “Curtis and his grandad had developed a very strong bond and if Grandad couldn’t build it or fix it no one could. The day Curtis lost his grandad he lost a very special person in his life that nobody can replace.”