Two champions of the swimming world are urging people in Biggleswade to make a big splash for charity.
Team GB swimming heroes Mark Foster and Duncan Goodhew are encouraging people in Bedfordshire to sign up to Swimathon, the world’s biggest annual fundraising swim, to raise vital funds for Cancer Research UK and Marie Curie.
Taking place from Friday, March 29 to Sunday, March 31, swimmers of all ages and abilities are encouraged to sign up to take part in the world’s biggest annual swimming fundraising event.
Across Bedfordshire, Swimathon events will be held at the Saxon Pool and Leisure Centre, Biggleswade; Robinson Pool, Bedford; Flitwick Leisure Centre; Tiddenfoot Leisure Centre, Leighton Buzzard; The Dunstable Centre; Houghton Regis Leisure Centre. Mark, the former World, European and Commonwealth champion, who set 8 world records during a glittering career, is supporting the campaign, alongside Olympic gold medalist Duncan Goodhew, president of Swimathon.
Speaking at the launch of Swimathon 2019, Mark said: “I’m very proud to be supporting Swimathon 2019 and I hope everyone looking to set themselves a challenge signs up. Whether you’re just learning or are an experienced swimmer already, there’s a challenge for you.
“Swimming is fantastic for your health and wellbeing as it helps to keep fit. As you train, you build stamina and speed, and as it’s a low impact sport, the chances of injury are low while also good for recovery if you’re coming back from injury.”
Duncan said: “It has been a real joy to see Swimathon develop and mature into the great event it is today. Swimathon gives everyone a chance to get active with friends and family, whilst doing some good at the same time. I am so proud that Swimathon gives so many people the chance to enjoy the water, get swimming and set themselves a challenge.”
Wanda Stockdale, a swimmer who has previously participated in Swimathon, said: “I really enjoy taking part in Swimathon - it’s a fabulous event, with great atmosphere. Without swimming my life falls apart, my mental health is affected and my arthritis gets worse. It has changed my life and is the best thing that I have ever done for myself.”
Designed intentionally so people of all swimming abilities can participate, there are a variety of distances available as individual challenges - 400m, 1.5k, 2.5k, 5k – while the 1.5k and 5k distances are also available as team challenges for family, friends or colleagues to take on.
New to 2019 is the Triple 5k challenge, which is specifically designed to test experienced swimmers, challenging them to swim 5k, three times. Swimmers can choose the sessions and venues where they take on the three-part challenge.
Last year,Swimathon raised £2.1million, and is aiming to raise further vital funds this time around.
Since Swimathon started 33 years ago, over 700,000 swimmers have dived into over 1,000 different pools across the UK, raising more than £50million for different charities.
For the past six years, Swimathon has been partnered by Zoggs, whose goggles, swimsuits, learning aids and training accessories have helped millions of swimmers across the world learn to love swimming.
For more information and to sign up now, visit www.Swimathon.org