Andrés Olivares and Luis Portillo during the presentation of the challenge. / MIGUE FERNÁNDEZ

Policeman aims to swim 30-km round-trip across the Strait of Gibraltar for Malaga child cancer charity

Luis Portillo hopes to raise 22,000 euros for the Fundación Olivares and raise general awareness about the impact of the disease on families


Local Malaga swimmer Luis Portillo is set to swim across the Strait of Gibraltar in the first fortnight of July in an effort to raise 22,000 euros for the Fundación Olivares charity and general awareness about the impact of child cancer.

The swim, which has been named Desafío Las Dos Orillas (Challenge of the two shores), will see the 46-year-old set off from Tarifa and arrive at Morocco's Point Cires, before turning around and swimming back to Spain. The distance for this round-trip is some 30 kilometres, which will take approximately eight hours. "A day's work," Portillo described.

The Fundación Olivares is a Malaga-based charity that assists and helps roughly 500 children with cancer and their families. "[Portillo is] one of those people with a big heart that allows us to offer help to these 555 children every day," said the charity's president, Andrés Olivares.

Portillo, who is a serving police officer in Benahavís, is an avid, long-distance swimmer who has always had a history of swimming. After reaching a high level where he specialised in backstroke and then retiring, the Malaga man kept in touch with the water-based sport.

The swimmer believes that child cancer can affect any family. "It was clear to me that I needed to do something and I know I'm going to try, it's a great challenge for a great charity," Portillo said.

A crowdfunding site has been opened by Fundación Olivares for those who want to contribute directly by buying a symbolic stroke for one euro, as the hope is to reach the 22,000-euro mark.