It may not be the sweltering Zambezi but one local girl is hoping to swim a mile around chilly Loch Lomond for a cause close to her heart.
Kirstie Compton (22) is taking part in the Great Scottish Swim on August 24 to raise money for the British Heart Foundation after her grandfather died from a sudden heart attack.
Originally from Zimbabwe, Kirstie now lives at Sandyford Avenue in Whitecross with partner George and children Ben (5) and Taylor (4). But before she moved to Scotland in 2003, Kirstie stayed for almost a year with her grandparents in Zimbabwe’s neighbour Zambia, representing the country in swimming, and winning medals for her pool prowess.
But in June, the family were saddened when grandfather Geoff who was in his 70s, passed away.
Kirstie added: “As my grandparents lived in Ndola in Zambia, any chance to see them was really slim, and it was hard being so far away from them. Then this summer, my grandpa who was a healthy man and still working, had a heart attack. It came out of nowhere.”
Geoff passed away before any of the family could fly out, and since then Kirstie’s gran Isobel has moved to Scotland to be with the family. In his memory and to raise awareness of heart disease, Kirstie has chosen to swim the one mile course in the Great Scottish Swim, the biggest open water swimming event in Scotland, for BHF.
Dental nurse Kirstie said: “I’m so nervous - I was dreaming there were jellyfish in the water, and I don’t think they even have them in Loch Lomond! But friends and family have been so supportive and generous, they’re keeping me going - we’re making a day of it!”
To donate, go to www.just giving.com/Kirstie-Compton