Participants thanked for big charity total

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COUNTY residents who made a fund-raising splash for an important charity have been praised.

Earlier this year, more than 23,500 people took to 615 pools across the UK for Swimathon 2013.

Now Swimathon organisers have announced a massive total of £2.4million to date, heading towards what could be a record-breaking year.

Contributing to this amount were swimmers taking part in the event at the Riverside Leisure Centre in Morpeth, whose efforts have brought in a fantastic £34,000 for Marie Curie Cancer Care.

The funds raised for the charity will help its nurses to provide free end-of-life care to terminally ill patients in their own homes or in one of its nine hospices across the UK.

Swimmers of all ages and abilities helped to raise these vital funds by swimming distances ranging from 5k, 2.5k and 1.5k individual Distance Challenges to Team 5k or Team 1.5k challenges with friends and family.

With further fund-raising expected to continue from a few of those who took part in Swimathon, donations will be on-going.

Duncan Goodhew, Olympic gold medallist and Swimathon President, said: “During Swimathon weekend, swimmers of all levels took to the water to take on their own personal challenge in aid of Marie Curie Cancer Care.

“I am happy to say that we are heading towards a record breaking year in terms of fund-raising, which is a true testament to all the hard work of our swimmers and their supporters.”

Leisure centres and pool operators continue to encourage visitors to enter Swimathon, with more than 29 per cent of participants in 2012 hearing about the event through these facilities.

For the latest details regarding Swimathon 2014, keep checking the official website – www.swimathon.org – for further announcements.