Local causes benefit from RotarySwimarathon event
The glorious setting of St Wulfram’s proved apt for what one audience member said ‘highlighted the best of Grantham.’
Hundreds of people of all ages packed its historic pews to receive awards and cheques following this year’s Grantham Rotary Swimarathon.
Grantham Rotary president David Close welcomed guests including Lincolnshire deputy lieutenant Mrs Jill Hughes, Mayor of Grantham Lynda Coutts, former chairman of South Kesteven District Council, Coun Bob Sampson, his successor Coun George Chivers, and Councillors Helen Goral and Jacky Smith.
Swimarathon chairman Roger Graves said the event has proved popular, with Rotary groups across the UK and now New Zealand organising their own swimarathons.
This year’s event in February raised more than £29,000, which with ‘Gift Aid’ turned the total to £36,360.
Mr Graves said £801,615 has been raised in the 29 years the event has taken place, with entrants swimming 9,804 miles in total.
However, the hardest part has been deciding the good causes that would benefit from the funds raised, but Rotary was helped by its corporate sponsors, who help fund the £8,000 the Swimarathon costs to run at The Meres Centre.
Mr Graves thanked the corporate sponsors including Downtown as main event sponsor and lane sponsors Buckminster Trust, Chattertons Solicitors, Grantham Book Services, Hood Parkes & Co, HSBC UK, John Cussell Jewellers, KBR Gas Services, Mark Bates Ltd, Specsavers,Vale Protective Coatings and Viking Signs.
Roger went on to announce the award and cheque recipients, with Marcus Meadows, Downtown retail operations director, doing the presentations.
Mr Graves also stated that most of the money was for good causes that benefit young people, as 70 per cent of its swimmers were under 16 years of age.
The good causes also had to be local. If they were from outside the area, such as Rutland Sailability, this was because they helped people in Grantham.
Mrs Hughes, Lincolnshire’s deputy lieutenant, then spoke of the Rock Challenge, which is proving popular with young people. Coming from Australia, the event raises awareness of drugs, alcohol and substance abuse, with 500 people from Lincolnshire taking part in its drumming and music competition.
As one guest said:
“This shows the best of Grantham.”
The recipients were: Radcliffe Animal Centre,Grantham Target Shooting Club, Girlguiding Grantham District, Inspire Plus Sports Charity, 1st Barrowby Guides,1st Barkston Brownies, Grantham Music Services, Grantham Men’s Shed, Grantham LYNX Swimming Club, Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance, Parkinsons UK _Grantham branch, Young Peoples Learning Provision, U2CanCraft, Manthorpe Pre-School Playgroup, Samaritans of Grantham, Grantham Disabled Childrens Society, Rutland Sailability, Fenland Netball Club, St Barnabas Hospice, Foodbank, Grantham Talking Newspaper, Grantham Leisure Support, Grantham Journal Children’s Appeal, Grantham MENCAP, Sedgbrook Playing Fields, Be Your Best Foundation,Youth Trust Grantham,Inner Wheel,Ropsley Primary School,Celebrations Active Care Club,Barrowby School,1st Foston Cubs, Church Tree Disabled Group Grantham,St Marys Primary School,Contact The Elderly,Caythorpe Primary School,Grantham Canal Society,Jubilee Life Centre,Ambergate College,Cliffedale Primary School, Sandon School, Grantham Carnival,Grantham Water polo,Kesteven Rideability,Harrowby Lane Methodist Church, Grantham Life Saving, Arts Society Grantham and the Belvoir Cricket & Countryside