About Steve The Swimming Gardener

Steve White - The Swimming GardenerAn introduction in my own words:

I am an endurance swimmer,known as the ‘Swimming Gardener’ primarily raising funds for The Chestnut Tree House Children’s Hospice in West Sussex.

As a long term back pain sufferer I took up endurance swimming as a way of controlling back pain and keeping fit! In 2011 I swam 15 miles in a stormy English channel from Littlehampton to Worthing and back, raisng £15,000 for the Hospice and the RNLI. In 2012 I suffered a major deep vein thrombosis whilst raising funds for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust and became more angry and determined than ever. 6 weeks after the DVT I swam 6km in the River Arun to help film an episode of ‘Fat, the fight of my life’ for Sky Television.

2013 saw the ‘Splash4cash’, a 10hr swim in which sponsors took a punt at how far I would swim on a route from Worthing to Littlehampton and up the river Arun against the current. Impossible to predict, the final distance was 23,410metres, given the opposing current of England’s second fastest river, the actual distance swam through the water was just over 30km.
I am currently working on a guinness world record for the next event and the top secret event (for now) is affectionately known as project x.


Steve is a  married father of two girls, and runs a garden construction business in East Preston, 4 miles from the Chestnut Tree House. Steve has lived in Sussex for most of his life, and has been a sufferer of chronic back problems for nearly 20 years. After a spinal operation in 2007, Steve took up swimming again as a form of pain relief and just started going further and further distances.

In 2008, Steve decided to put this swimming business to good use, and trained for the 2008 national “Swimathon”, raising over £2300 pounds in the process for Marie Curie Cancer Care. The distance was 5km or 200 lengths of the Littlehampton swimming pool, and Steve completed it in 2 hours.

The following year, Steve, and daughters Cheyanne and Ashlena all took part and together raised over £800 for Marie Curie. Steve’s time had improved to 1 hour 38 minutes, despite severe leg cramps, which set in at around 100 lengths. 2010 saw further improvement, as Steve and Ashlena took part setting times of 1 hour 35 and for Ashlena a respectable 55 minutes for the 2.5km.

In late 2009, inspired by David Walliams channel swim for Sport Relief, Steve came up with a “One Off” plan to cover a great distance and raise a great deal more money than previously! As a father of two children, Steve never took their health for granted and wanted to raise money to help other families in a less fortunate position. There was no contest – The local Children’s Hospice, The Chestnut Tree House was the clear choice, along with the RNLI receiving 20% in recognition of the important work they do saving lives at sea. Whilst most people suggested swimming the Channel, Steve felt that this was a challenge that was somewhat detached from the local people of Sussex, and so the plan was slowly hatched.

Originally called the Pier to Pier Challenge, the idea was to swim from Worthing Pier to Bognor Pier, some 14 miles. Steve called on the significant expertise of Nick White (no relation), the operations manager for the Littlehampton Lifeboat and due to tides and currents, he cleverly devised a route, which involved warmer seas, and more spectators (along with an extra mile or so of swimming) As luck would have it August 13th 2011 carried the strongest tides beneficial to the swim attempt, as well as being the day of the Worthing Birdman, ensuring a halfway crowd of some 20,000 people.

And so, with the plan in place there was no backing out and a 20-month master plan of training and fundraising was set in motion…..which then grew and grew!

Special thanks to these clubs,
people, businesses and suppliers.

The world’s leading open water swim specialists and supplier of my superman outfit.

Littlehampton Triathlon club whom I train with.

Local event organisers for triathlon.

Quite possibly the fastest man in the water this country has produced.


One of the world’s leading open water swimmers!