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Shropshire swimmers will make a splash for life saving research

Swimming legend Duncan Goodhew MBE is calling on people across Shropshire to take the plunge and sign up for Swimathon 2023.

Swimathon President Duncan Goodhew with supporters
Swimathon President Duncan Goodhew with supporters

The Swimathon President and former Olympian is making a splash to highlight the annual fundraiser which raises money for Cancer Research UK and the end of life charity Marie Curie.

He is urging people of all ages and abilities to enter the sponsored event taking place from 12-14 May at selected pools across the county, including Ludlow, Shrewsbury, Market Drayton and Oswestry.

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With a variety of distances to choose from – from 400m up to 30.9k – Swimathon offers a challenge for swimmers young and old, new and experienced. People can participate individually or as part of a team.

Any swimmers who can’t make one of the organised sessions can sign up to MySwimathon, which takes place from 28 April – 21 May, and choose a time and venue that suits them.

With rising energy costs putting some community pools at risk of closure, it has been another challenging year for swimming. Not only does the event support vital charities, £2.50 from the entry fee of everybody taking part at an official Swimathon venue is donated to help protect these pools for the future.

Goodhew, who won an Olympic Gold medal for the 100m breaststroke at the 1980 Moscow games, hopes to inspire people in Shropshire to get off the starting blocks and help make a real difference to individuals, families and communities across the UK.

He said: “I swim as often as I can and will never stop championing this sport. The positive impact that it has both physically and mentally is undeniable, so I’m passionate about Swimathon because it helps to show that swimming is a fun, accessible, and exhilarating form of exercise.

“It is a truly inclusive event with so many ways to take part for every level of swimmer. You don’t need to be the fittest or the fastest. You just need to try your best and enjoy yourself, while fundraising for two important charities who need our support. So, I’m urging people to sign up now, head down to the pool and see how swimming can change their lives – as well as benefitting others.”

Swimathon is the world’s largest annual swimming fundraiser. Since launching in 1986, more than 750,000 swimmers have taken part, raising over £55 million for charitable causes.

Cancer Research UK spokesperson for Shropshire, Paula Young, said: “Swimathon is such a great way to encourage people to dip their toe in the water and get swimming. There’s no greater motivation for taking part than helping to support causes that are close to the hearts of so many.

“One in two of us will get cancer in our lifetime, but all of us can support the research that will beat it. From proving the link between smoking and cancer to laying the foundations for modern radiotherapy – our scientists have been at the forefront of cancer research for 120 years. And we’re not stopping now. That’s why we’re urging swimmers to grab their caps and costumes, raise money and help us to keep making new discoveries and breakthroughs. Together we will beat cancer.”

Marie Curie’s Director of Community Fundraising, Jayne Waterhouse, said: “Swimathon is an iconic event in the Marie Curie calendar and one we all look forward to every year. The exciting and inclusive challenge sees thousands of people take the plunge with sponsored swims up and down the country, whilst raising money to help Marie Curie support those affected by terminal illness.

“The money that Marie Curie receives through Swimathon fundraisers goes towards helping our nurses, bereavement counsellors, and support line staff to deliver vital care and support to people with a terminal illness and their families across the UK. Do something amazing for your health and well-being and for people across the UK who are dealing with terminal illness – sign up for Swimathon.”

Sign up now at swimathon.org.

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