A brave Wigan teenager is planning to spend half an hour in a shark-infested tank to raise money for charity.
Reece Wilkinson has only been scuba diving for just over a year but on June 26, he will spend 30 minutes submerged with one of Europe’s largest collections of the predators.
The Wigan and Leigh College student is hoping to raise £1,000 for childhood and teen cancer through Cancer Research UK and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).
The Aspull 17-year-old took up scuba diving after a thumb injury forced him to give up martial arts, something he had one day hoped to make his career by teaching them to disadvantage children.
But undeterred, he found himself a new dream and hopes to one day teach disabled children how to dive.
Dad Paul said: “Reece goes to Howe Bridge Sports Club to dive with a group called the Sub-Zero Divers and a little while ago they asked if he wanted to come and do a dive with them at the Blue Planet Aquarium in Ellesmere Port
Everyone knows a young person who has had cancer, it is something very close to me heart and it is like Make a Wish, providing special days for poorly childrenReece Wilkinson
“Reece was really looking forward to it but there wasn’t enough uptake so the trip got cancelled.
“But then he thought ‘why should that stop me?’ and decided to do it anyway and to raise money for charity.
“Reece did what he called his Fight4life a few years ago where he entered a martial arts competition and decided to do it for charity too.
“He won an award as a result but then hurt his thumb and had to give up martial arts.
“So he started scuba diving in November 2014 and he has gained two qualifications.
“Now he wants to become an instructor in that and teach disabled people.
“He is all about the underdog.
“We have been looking for sponsors and donations and going out and about to try and get people to donate but it is a lot harder than it was when Reece did his Fight4life.”
Reece said: “I wanted to still do the challenge but I thought I would try and raise some money as well.
“Everyone knows a young person who has had cancer, it is something very close to me heart and it is like Make a Wish, providing special days for poorly children.
“I am really looking forward to doing it but I wanted to raise as much as I could for the two charities at the same time.”
To donate visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com and search for Dive4Life or Reece Wilkinson.