Rotarians plan massive global swimming event

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ORGANISERS of a special global swimming event aimed at helping to stamp out polio have received backing from former MP Ann Widdecombe.

Swimarathon co-ordinator Roger Graves met the former politician at a conference in Southport where he was talking to fellow Rotarians about an ambitious plan to raise money for the campaign as well as unite with people around the globe for a World Record attempt.

Members of Grantham’s Rotary Clubs have been running the Swimarathon fund-raising event in the town for more than 20 years, but this year plan to take it around the world in the hope of setting the World Record for the most people swimming at the same time.

The event, on February 25, will raise money for Rotary International’s End Polio Now campaign.

So far 70 clubs in 30 countries have signed up to take part.

Swimmers will only have to swim 100 metres to take part in the event.

It is hoped that Rotary International’s campaign will soon bring an end to people being struck by the devastating disease, which causes paralysis.

When Rotary International first set about its polio eradication project in 1985 there were 350,000 cases of polio in 125 countries - latest figures for 2011 show just 358 cases in four countries.

For more information and to register for the event, go www.rotaryglobalswimarathon.org

Grantham events will take place at the Meres Leisure Centre and Belton Woods Hotel - further venues will be announced soon.