Swimathon 2009 has been launched at Link Centre in Swindon. As the world’s largest fundraising swim, thousands of swimmers will take part in over 500 pools nationwide between16-19 April 2009. Entrants will be able to make a difference by taking part at Link Centre and helping the lives of thousands of terminally ill patients through the donations to Marie Curie Cancer Care.
Now in its 23rd year, over half a million swimmers have taken part in Swimathon; swimming the equivalent of over 24 times round the world and raising over £30 million for charity.
Over the past two years, 30,000 swimmers have taken part in Swimathon and have raised more than £3 million for Marie Curie Cancer Care and The Swimathon Foundation. This year, Swimathon is looking to raise more money for charity by encouraging everyone in the UK to get in the pool for the world’s biggest swim and make 2009 a huge success.
Marie Curie Cancer Care is one of the UK’s largest charities that employs more than 2,700 nurses, doctors and other healthcare professionals. Marie Curie provides high quality home nursing, totally free, to give terminally ill patients the choice of dying at home supported by their families. As well as providing a home nursing service, the charity runs a number of Marie Curie Hospices across the UK which actively promote the best quality of life for people with cancer and other illnesses, completely free.
The 2009 face of Swimathon, Eleanor Simmonds, who at 13 years of age became Britain's youngest ever individual Olympic and Paralympic double gold medallist in Beijing, adds, ‘Swimming is a great activity for anyone of any age or ability and the great thing about Swimathon is that you can do it at your own pace and at a distance of your own choice. I think everyone should take part as it's something that anyone can benefit from health wise, but it will also be fun!’
Duncan Goodhew, Olympic Gold medallist and Swimathon President, comments, ‘Swimathon is a great way of raising money to help thousands of people across the UK. It’s also a fantastic way to get and keep fit for all the family. Regular swimming builds endurance, muscle strength and cardio-vascular fitness and it can serve as a cross-training element to your regular workout. 30 minutes of steady paced lane swimming burns over 200 calories – well over 400 calories in an hour. So not only will Swimathon help other people but it will also help keep you fit too!’
Swimathon 2009 is open to everyone, encouraging people to set their own personal challenge by accomplishing a distance of their choice. Swimmers can challenge themselves to the ultimate 5K challenge, 2.5K for the intermediate swimmer or 1.5K for those who swim occasionally. For those interested in joining forces with friends, colleagues or family, the 5K challenge can also be completed as part of a team of up to five people.
To find out more about Swimathon or sign-up for the 2009 challenge go to: www.swimathon.org
To find out more about Marie Curie Cancer Care or the other events which you can get involved in, please visit www.mariecurie.org.uk