GRANTHAM’S Swimarathon is going global with swimmers as far away as New Zealand taking part to raise money and break a world record.
On Saturday, February 25 swimmers from all around the world will take to the pool, at 12pm our time, in an attempt to break the current world record of 2,533 people swimming 100 metres at the same time. And the amazing idea all started here in Grantham.
Rotary Club of Grantham chairman Roger Graves dreamed up the Global Swimarathon about 16 months ago.
He said: “It started as a bit of a joke, we wanted to do something special for 2012 to mark the Olympics.
“But when I first mentioned about doing a Global Swimarathon the rest of the club members fell off their chairs laughing - then we thought why not? A lot of people know about our Swimarathon and support it whole-heartedly.”
But once the idea was formed a lot more work was needed to make the dream a reality.
Roger said: “Communication was our biggest issue but a colleague of mine, Paul Wilson, is heavily involved in social networking. It was instrumental in contacting Rotary clubs in other countries. It’s been absolutely fantastic.”
So far more than 60 clubs worldwide including those from Australia, Pakistan, The Philippines and Kenya are taking part with some swimming during the night to complete the enormous challenge.
Roger hopes that 500 people will take part in the record attempt at the Meres Leisure Centre between 12pm and 1pm.
He joked: “It’s easy for us to say midday but in New Zealand they will be swimming at 1am!
“We are quietly confident that we will break the record.”
To take part you need to be over eight-years-old and able to swim four-lengths continuously without swimming aids. You also need to have £2 for an entrance fee, which will be donated to Rotary International’s End Polio Now Campaign.
Roger said: “We still have to raise money because polio isn’t beaten yet.
“We hope this event will put Grantham on the map. We’re really looking forward to the day, it’s amazed all of us what we have achieved.
“This will be another first for Grantham on an international scale and it will show what a great community we are.”
l Don’t forget about the normal Swimarathon that takes place at the Meres next Friday.