Staff joined eight brave students and over 100 other competitors to undertake a sponsored swim at Buckfastleigh’s open air pool on 24 January to raise money for their upcoming Borneo trip. Joining the pool’s Ice Gala for 2016, contestants were invited to swim two lengths of the 21m pool in conditions of only 8.6 degrees. Swimmers were only permitted to wear a swimming costume, goggles and a hat; no wetsuits or thermal tops/bottoms were permitted, resulting in a literal breath-taking experience. Organiser and College Head of House, Tracy Dommett, was extremely proud of the College’s collective efforts: “Despite the temperature of the water, the determination and effort shown by the staff and students was truly inspiring. It was great to come together as a team and spur one another on………what breath was left after swimming two lengths was used shouting plenty of words of encouragement to the other contestants! It has been a privilege to take part in such a well-organised event in such a great facility as Buckfastleigh’s open air pool.” Student swimmer, Rachel Spooner, was equally thrilled: “The swim was absolutely freezing but totally exhilarating! It was a fantastic bonding exercise for the team as we are going to be spending a month together in Borneo over the summer, but also a great chance to raise money for the trip and support the local community.” 14 students and 3 members of staff will be travelling to the Asian island of Borneo to live within the local communities and undertake projects such as building foundations for primary schools and nurseries, as well as journeying into the jungle to perform rainforest and conservation work, planting new trees, observing wildlife and visiting an orangutan sanctuary. Organised by Camps International, students are required to raise an individual target of £4,100 through fundraising efforts such as the Ice Gala swim.