Parents Of English Channel Teenagers Discuss Their Children On WOWSA Live

Parents Of English Channel Teenagers Discuss Their Children On WOWSA Live

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Christine Arsenault, George O’Keefe, and Dhananjay Vanmali are parents of children who crossed the English Channel when they were teenagers.

What did these parents from Canada, Ireland and India learn? What did they experience along the way? Were their children special, hardworking, or both? Listen to a discussion with these parents of channel swimmers on the 23 April 2021 edition of WOWSA Live, interviewed by International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Administrator and chairperson Ned Denison.

They discussed:

  • Were their children high performers in school, pool and generally as a teenager?
  • Where and how did their children catch the open water marathon bug?  
  • Did the parents help plant this seed?
  • What was the family process to discuss their English Channel plans? 
  • What were their biggest concerns and worries before and during this process?
  • Did they have plans or thoughts about how to manage their possible success?
  • Did they have plans or thoughts about how to manage if their swim didn’t happen or ended short of France?  
  • Have their children suffered a significant “reversal” in the previous five years?
  • Did they assume all the safety responsibility personally – or did they rely on others?  
  • Were there moments when your child was swimming (in bad conditions or while tired, injured, or emotionally low) when their parental responsibilities felt overwhelming?
  • What were their biggest surprises along the way?
  • If they could have changed one thing, what would it be?
  • Can they point to later specific actions and results by their children that they could trace to the self-confidence gained by of completing this big swim?
Interviewed by Ned Denison on the April 23rd 2021 edition of WOWSA Live

Their children are Trinity Arsenault (Canada, 12 hours 30 minutes across the English Channel at the age of 16 in 2016), Owen O’Keefe (Ireland, 10 hours 19 minutes across the English Channel at the age of 16 in 2009), Shubham Vanmali (India, 12 hours 42 minutes across the English Channel at the age of 18 in 2014), respectively.

Photo above shows the cover of the book called Oceans Calling written by the parents of Shubham Vanmali.

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