Swimathon celebrates its 30th anniversary!

Jump in a pool in Leicestershire for Swimathon 2017 and raise money for Marie Curie Swimathon, the world’s biggest annual fundraising swim is back for 2017 and swimmers across the UK are being encouraged to jump in one of over 600 participating pools and raise vital funds for Marie Curie, the UK’s leading charity for people living with a terminal illness and their families.

The event will take place across the weekend of 7th-9th April and is extra special this year as Swimathon will be celebrating its 30th anniversary.

Swimathon began in 1986 as a pilot programme for swimmers in London only. Since the launch of the annual event in 1988, nearly 700,000 participants have taken part and raised £46 million which has been distributed to 36 different charities.

Swimmers can challenge themselves to the 5k, 2.5k or 1.5k Individual or Team 5k or 1.5k distances and raise funds for Marie Curie.

Marie Curie Community Fundraiser, Sophie Wallace, is encouraging people in Leicester to put on their swim suits and head down to their local pool to take in a Swimathon Challenge: “We’re looking for swimmers to help make this the biggest and best Swimathon yet. In 2015, 22,600 swimmers took part and helped raise a brilliant £1.9 million for Marie Curie – a fantastic achievement but one we are hoping to beat this year.”

Olympic gold medalist Duncan Goodhew and the sporting soprano Laura Wright are heading up this year’s campaign, and are calling on people of all ages to set themselves the challenge and take to the water.

Duncan Goodhew, who is also Swimathon President, said: “For the last 29 years it has been a real joy to see Swimathon develop and mature into the great event it is today. Nowadays there are thousands of well-organised sports participation events, mostly running and cycling, which raise money for charity but that wasn’t the case in 1988 when we launched the annual event. Swimathon really was ahead of its time giving people a chance to get active and do some good at the same time. I am so proud of both Swimathon’s longevity and its legacy.

“This year, Swimathon again provides a fantastic opportunity to bring together swimmers of all ages and abilities to raise vital funds for Marie Curie to continue their work caring for and supporting people living with a terminal illness, and their families.”

Laura Wright, sporting soprano and official anthem singer for the England Rugby Team, added: “I am delighted to be an ambassador for this year’s Swimathon. Sport and leading a healthy lifestyle is so important to me for both body and mind and Swimathon encourages people young and old to take part to get fit, healthy, and have fun. I want everyone taking part this year to support a friend or family member who is not in the best of health or at peak fitness and encourage them to also take part. Swimming is a sport with a real sense of community and I am looking forward to being a part and helping to raise funds for Marie Curie. “I am so moved by the incredible work that Marie Curie carries out for people affected by terminal illness. We have all experienced the difficulty of losing a loved one or knowing we’re going to lose a loved one and Marie Curie is a real support system during this traumatic time. I hope that Swimathon will help in raising record amounts this year to help Marie Curie continue supporting and caring for people who need it most.”

Marie Curie is the official charity of Swimathon 2017. Marie Curie is the UK’s leading charity for people with any terminal illness. The charity helps people living with a terminal illness and their families make the most of the time they have together by delivering expert hands-on care, emotional support, research and guidance. Last year, Marie Curie cared for and supported over 50,000 people affected by terminal illness across the UK.

If you have questions about terminal illness, need support or just want to talk, call the Marie Curie Support Line on 0800 090 2309. It’s for anyone affected by terminal illness, including family and friends.

For further information about Swimathon including how to sign up visit: www.Swimathon.org