'I'm over the moon' - Delight as Suffolk swimmers joined by Olympian Duncan Goodhew raise £8,000 for Swimathon
PUBLISHED: 10:01 05 May 2018
A Suffolk swim for charity has celebrated its "best ever" event after more than 200 entrants were joined by Olympian Duncan Goodhew to help raise £8,000 for worthy causes.
Stradbroke Swim and Fitness Centre is reported to have secured the UK’s third most sign-ups in the nationwide Swimathon held recently – almost as many as the iconic London Aquatic Centre.
Joined by Olympic gold medallist Duncan Goodhew, 223 swimmers completed swimming challenges, raising funds for Cancer Research and Marie Curie.
Len Phoenix, who organised the event along with Everyone Active’s Maria Smith, and completed his 30th Swimathon, said he was “over the moon” that the Olympian had been able to make his third visit to the fitness centre. “The atmosphere on Saturday, and throughout the weekend, was fantastic,” he added.
“Duncan did a great job of encouraging participants to push themselves to achieve their fundraising goals, and we are so pleased that as a centre we raised over £8,000 for two brilliant charities.”
Representatives from Mid Suffolk District Council also attended, including councillor Julie Flatman.
Jacqui Tillman, group swim manager at Everyone Active, said: “We are delighted that the local community and Duncan Goodhew were able to help us support Swim England’s annual Swimathon once again.
“Swimming is a fantastic way to improve your health and wellbeing and I am so pleased that over 200 people were able to get active while raising money for charity.”
Charity swimmers aged 4-80 completed sponsored challenges of various distances across three days of specially arranged Swimathon sessions.
Special achievements included a team of seven children, who completed distances of 600-1000m, despite having only recently learned to swim; Jenny Thompson, who achieved the fasted 5,000m, at 1hr 11mins, and Nikki Hambling who did half her challenge using butterfly stroke.
Mr Phoenix said the final session brought a “carnival atmosphere” as 19 teams engaged in a friendly rivalry as they completed their challenges.