A BASINGSTOKE dad has raised £2,000 in memory of a coach who dedicated 25 years to teaching people in the town to swim.

Steve Greenfield set himself the gruelling task of completing 17 different swimming challenges at Basingstoke Aquadrome, to raise funds for Headway Basingstoke – a charity which supports people with brain injuries.

Colin Dew was supported by the Basingstoke branch of the charity, in Fairway House, after suffering a stroke. Sadly, the Basingstoke Bluefins swimming coach died of a brain haemorrhage on August 28 last year.

Mr Greenfield, of Highfields, Basingstoke, said: “He was the nicest bloke I have ever met.”

The 52-year-old father-of-two, who is a part-time swimming coach with the Basin-stoke Bluefins, added: “He was a friend of mine and a coach for over 20 years. We worked together for all that time.

“I just thought I would like to do something to remember him. He was always this guy who had a go at anything.”

Mr Greenfield completed the challenge over the course of three days, swimming various distances using different strokes.

He said: “It was quite hard to do. I’m a swimmer but I’m not good at every stroke and I’m getting on a bit.

“The kids got behind it. Lots of kids cheered and shouted, which meant I had to do it.”

He added: “It was harder than I thought. I was tired the week after. It was more the fact it was hard to keep getting back in.

“If someone said to me would you do it again, I would say only if I met someone like Colin.”

Mr Dew, who had two daughters, Alison and Laura, was a swimmer, coach and administrator for the Basingstoke Bluefins.

The club described him as “an inspiration for younger swimmers in the club for many years.”

A statement on the club’s website added: “As a coach, he has taught and coached swimmers young and old, from lessons through to masters.

“He was a very popular coach, and led by example.”

Mr Dew served on the committee for many years and his wife, Marion, was also involved in the club alongside him.