A fantastic effort by swimmers and organisers has raised £30,000 at this year’s RotarySwimarathon, taking the total amount of funds raised in the event’s 29 years to an astounding £800,000.
Organisers are celebrating the magnificent achievement with £29,963 pledged and Gift Aid to be claimed.
The annual event, organised by the Rotary Club of Grantham, raises money for local charities and deserving causes and projects that benefit the community in and around the town.
Teams swam in relay for 55 minutes over the weekend. This year 230 teams took part and nearly 1,400 swimmers completing a total of 30,013 lengths. Throughout the three-day event the teams were encouraged by a constant stream of supporters in the stands cheering them on.
Don’t miss the Journal’s 16-page pullout, out today, featuring pictures of all the teams and plenty of action from the event.
Chair of the event Roger Graves said: “Behind the scenes there are months of planning and on the weekend an awful lot of voluntary work by a constant stream of helpers to ensure it all runs smoothly but it’s made easier by the fantastic support we get from the swimmers, the supporters and the corporate sponsors who cover all the running costs.”
Organisers were helped by other organisations to run the event - Grantham & Kesteven Rotary Club, Grantham Sunrise Rotary, the Inner Wheel Club, the Twinning Association, two groups from Inspire Plus Sports Charity and on Saturday afternoon sixth form pupils from Sir William Robertson Academy took over the running.
On Sunday, James and Caitlin from Sir William Robertson Academy ran the pool manager and computer for the day.
The highest number of lengths was completed by the Water Polo Oldies with 226 lengths and they only had three swimmers in their team. The amount of money people pledged was impressive. Isaac Newton School pledged nearly £1,800 and many other schools came in with amounts over £1,000.
President of the club Andrew Redman said: “It has been a fantastic weekend for the whole community and it is wonderful to see the different generations continuing to take part and also to see the event continue to develop throughout the UK and indeed around the world.
“Rotary clubs in Scunthorpe and New Zealand are due to hold their first RotarySwimarathons in March and have been supported and guided by the Grantham club.”
Seventeen teams took part in Grantham for the first time this year and they have all pledged to take part again in 2019 which will be the 30th anniversary of the event.
Roger added: “There was a lot of talk about next year’s event in relation to extra teams, corporate sponsorship and how special can we make it, so much so that planning will start very soon. Teams that took part this year already qualify for a provisional slot for February 1 to 3, 2019.”
Lucy Wallace, who organised Buckminster Barn Owls for the very first time and had her daughter Freya swimming said: “The atmosphere is fantastic and lots of fun for all abilities. We had strong swimmers and a five-year-old beginner who all thoroughly enjoyed it. We will definitely be coming back next year.”