AN EAST Lothian youngster has completed a swim challenge in aid of the Dwarf Sports Association UK – a charity that has played a pivotal role in his life.

Eight-year-old Harry McWhinnie, from Prestonpans, did his first sponsored swim for the charity in April last year, swimming 34 lengths of a 25-metre pool at Dalkeith in an hour and raising nearly £800.

A member of Musselburgh Amateur Swimming Club (MASC), he repeated the feat again this month and nearly doubled that tally by achieving 62 lengths in a hour at the swimming pool in Prestonpans.

Harry, a pupil at Preston Tower Primary School, Prestonpans, and one of MASC’s bronze team swimmers, has been a regular swimmer since he was about five.

He has smashed his £100 fundraising target for this month’s swim, with donations currently sitting at nearly £800.

All funds raised will be donated to the Dwarf Sports Association to help continue the events it organises, including monthly football, badminton and basketball sessions.

Harry has achondroplasia, which is a form of dwarfism.

East Lothian Courier: Swimmer Harry McWhinnie is raising funds for the Dwarf Sports Association UK

His mum Stephanie said: “The Dwarf Sports Association, in particular the Scotland region, have been a big part of our lives over the few years and they host a few events a month based around sports. At these events, Harry has made friends and so have myself and husband Iain.

“As a family, we are so grateful to have found the Dwarf Sports Association and wanted to ensure they could continue to host the events.

“Although it’s sport based, there is a community and family feel. Harry has role models he can look up to but he can also help younger ones too.”

Reflecting on Harry’s fundraising swim this month, she said: “The swim was hard but it was amazing to have family and friends come to support and cheer him on.

“He had two friends from the Dwarf Sports Association join him for a few lengths.

“With a few minutes left on the clock, he said he couldn’t manage any more but he managed to get another two lengths in. We had a party back at our house so he was able to spend time with everyone that came to support him.

“Seeing Harry grow and develop over the last few years has been amazing.

“He is such a confident and determined boy and doesn’t let his dwarfism hold him back.

“Harry will be attending the National Dwarf Games in May again this year, where he can compete in events like cycling, hockey, running, swimming and compete on a level playing field, and he is really looking forward to it.”

Coaches and fellow swimmers at MASC are very proud of Harry’s fundraising efforts.

Andrew McKnight, head coach, said: “It’s always great to see members of the MASC family raising money and completing challenges for charity.

“For Harry, the Dwarf Sports Association has provided support in his life and it is nice to see him do something to support them in return. Completing a staggering 62 lengths of the pool within an hour, he should be proud at what he has achieved. Well done, Harry, from everyone at the MASC family.”

Go to Harry’s GoFundMe page at to donate.