Grantham Rotarians celebrate as Swimarathon officially sets a new world record

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THE Rotary Global Swimarathon, which was organised in Grantham, has officially broken the world record for the biggest simultaneous swim in history.

Roger Graves, who is a member of the Rotary Club of Grantham, never dreamt that his idea to create the global event would be so successful.

He said: “I’m over the moon that the world record has been achieved.

“It was worth waiting for and is recognition for everyone around the world who took part, and that includes the people of Grantham.”

The record, which involved 4,546 people from 64 locations worldwide, had swimmers simultaneously taking to the pool between noon and 1pm GMT on February 25.

More swimmers took part in the charity event but were unable to be included for the record due to problems with paperwork.

Rotary club president Irvin Metcalf said: “This is a fantastic achievement for our club and Rotary International, and all from a throw-away remark by one of our members, who said: ‘Let’s do a global Swimarathon!’

“The record is a testament to the power of Rotary, a single member’s idea and our world famous Global Swimarathon Ambassadors, who helped us to spread the word around the world.”

The word about the event and the record attempt spread around the world via social networking sites and more than 100 clubs agreed to take part. And they did not just smash the record, which previously stood at 2,533 swimmers - they also raised £64,000 for Rotary International’s charity campaign End Polio Now.

Irvin said the amount raised is enough to pay for nearly 200,000 vaccinations.

He said: “This world record is the icing on the cake and the platform for next year’s event, which will be on Saturday, February 23, 2013.”

The club is planning to arrange the world’s biggest swim next year, which it hopes will raise $1 million.