Dive in for a record attempt

Westcoast Freedivers (l-r) William Nicol, Mick Brown, Katey McPherson and Jason Kirkpatrick
Westcoast Freedivers (l-r) William Nicol, Mick Brown, Katey McPherson and Jason Kirkpatrick

Motherwell men William Nicol and Mick Brown will attempt to push the human body to its limits as they attempt to create a new world record .

On Saturday the Sir Matt Busby Sports Complex in Bellshill played host to the first training session of the Westcoast Freedivers (WF).

William first got interested in the sport when he saw a programme about it on television and decided it could help with his training for a triathlon.

He told Mick about it and together they held a course at Wishaw Sports Centre, and as interest grew formed the Westcoast Freedivers.

William said: “I have been involved in martial arts for over 40 years and I was actually watching a UFC event.

“After it was finished this programme came on with this female triathlete who was talking about how freediving training helped her compete against men.

“This really grabbed my attention as I was in training for my first triathlon at the time and I told Mick about it because like me he is also into cycling and open-water swimming.

“I did some research and came across Steve Millard in Manchester, who has now become our coach, and the Wishaw pool was the first to agree to let us run a course.”

The group, who come from Scotland, England, Ireland, France, Italy and Somalia, are preparing for their attempt at the team world record and a combined dive depth equal to that of the English Channel which they hope to achieve by the end of the summer.

William said: “Imagine no one had ever run a marathon and you said you were going to run 26 miles it would be going completely into the unknown and that’s what we are doing.

“On Saturday we managed to cover half the distance in three hours, but we honestly don’t know what it will take to complete 20 miles.

“At the moment we are taking photographs and videos to try and work out the logistic and hopefully will be ready by the end of the summer, but I wouldn’t want to put an exact time frame on it.

“Hopefully once we have done it we can submit it to Guinness and they will award us a world record and we can put freediving on the map in Scotland.

“I do want to thank North Lanarkshire Leisure as they have been an enormous help to us, there’s no way we’d be able to go for a record without their support.”

As well as being rewarded with a new world record the Westcoast Freedivers also hope the challenge will raise money for the RNLI.