AN INTREPID disabled swimmer took the plunge in Southend to move closer to completing a charity challenge.

John Willis’s quest to swim 50 lots of 1,000m in each of 50 different pools in the space of 100 days, is all the more remarkable since he was born without properly-formed arms or legs.

Cheered on by pupils, he completed the 42nd swim of his 50:50:100 challenge yesterday, in the pool at Southend’s Lancaster School, completing 100 lengths of the 10m pool.

Mr Willis, a Cambridge graduate and lawyer, who has already raised more than £20,000 by completing another challenge – to swim 1500m in less than an hour – is doing it in aid of the charity, Power2Inspire.

He founded the charity to establish networks of motivated people, in sport, business and society.

After his Southend swim, Mr Willis said: “It was hot, but brilliant. The kids were just unbelievably supportive. There was quite a bit of noise in the pool. It was a good time today, as well – under 35 minutes.

“It’s great to be able to go round all these pools and schools and meet the variety of pupils and staff I have. It’s been a real privilege.

“It was wonderful to see what they do with the kids.”