A helping hand in the pool

Lynda Garland, left, of Morpeth ASC receives the cheque from Sue Mathieson of Morpeth Soroptimists.
Lynda Garland, left, of Morpeth ASC receives the cheque from Sue Mathieson of Morpeth Soroptimists.

A MORPETH community group gave a little extra to help a group of young swimmers with their Olympics costs.

Nine members of Morpeth Swimming Club were chosen to be among the Young Games Makers at the Aquatics Centre during the sporting event to carry athlete kit baskets to and from the starting blocks and provide other assistance.

Their travel, accommodation and other expenses, including meetings and sessions before the Games, will cost about £10,000 and so the teenagers and the club have been fund-raising since the start of the year.

Town residents and organisations have chipped in to support their efforts and Morpeth Soroptimist Sue Mathieson presented a cheque for £200 on behalf of the group to club chairman Lynda Garland before the swimmers travelled to London.

Sue said: “Members supported the town centre fund-raising collection when the Olympic Torch came to Morpeth in June. When we heard that the swimming club still required more money to cover the costs associated with the trip to London, we very quickly decided to give a donation. One of our honorary members, Sheila King, had gifted a sum of money to the club to be used for club projects.

“As Soroptimists we focus all of our projects around three key themes, educate, empower and enable. The swimming club’s success in being offered the opportunity to take young local people to the 2012 Olympics very much fits in with our club aims and local project work. Sheila is delighted that we have used some of her bequest to support the development and education of local young people.”