The Blackmore Vale Lions organised another successful charity fundraising event on the weekend of the 7th and 8th March. The 28th Swimarathon was held once again at Clayesmore School Sports Centre and 156 swimmers of all ages took part. They made up 27 teams (nominally six to a team) who swam in relay for 55 minutes achieving a total distance of 82 kilometres.
The event organiser, Lion David Birt said that the event was marked by a terrific spirit of enthusiasm, rivalry and fun. Teams came from local swimming clubs, schools, Scout groups, carnival clubs and families around the Blackmore Vale. Special mention must go to one of the five teams from the North Dorset Turbos Swimming Club. Their Seniors Team comprising Matthew Appleby, Stephen Appleby, Seren Banneel, Francesca Hill, Sam Waker and James Hall caused great excitement as they attempted to beat the event record. In swimming 108 laps they just missed, by one lap, the record of 109 laps (two lengths to a lap) set in 2012 by another North Dorset Turbos Team.
All the swimmers secured sponsorship pledges of just over £6,800 – a splendid result. Half this money will support the individual organisations or their chosen charity whilst the Lions will be making substantial donations to the charities Julia’s House and the NSPCC. The former is the Dorset based hospice for children with life limiting conditions whilst the NSPCC runs the Childline telephone service as well as striving to educate and deal with all aspects arising from the abuse and neglect of children.
Lion President Colin MacLeod and Lion David Birt presented Certificates on the day to all swimmers aged under 14 and the trophies will be presented in due course to the best achieving teams based on the distance swum and the amount of sponsorship actually raised.
Meanwhile the Lions would like to thank all the swimmers and all the helpers on the day who helped make the event a success.