Charity swim suits Duncan and Gail

Duncan Goodhew and Gail Porter launch the Swimathon.
Duncan Goodhew and Gail Porter launch the Swimathon.

A SWIMMING legend and famous television presenter made a splash at the launch of a fundraising event.

Swimathon 2011 is set to hit a record 580 pools across the UK between April 8 and 10, when thousands of swimmers of all ages and abilities will come together to raise money for Marie Curie Cancer Care and The Swimathon Foundation.

Olympic gold medallist swimmer Duncan Goodhew and Gail Porter are encouraging people to sign up for the challenge and got in the water themselves to promote the event.

Gail said: “The challenge is ideal motivation for everyone to pull on their swimsuits, get in the pool and enjoy a much-needed New Year health boost.”

Duncan added: “We are approaching a quarter of a century of Swimathons and I’m delighted to report that last year’s event enjoyed an astonishing 38 per cent rise in swimmers.

“And what’s really exciting is that around 2,500 of those who dived in told us that they only started swimming again because they entered the event.”

The majority of funds (70 percent) raised by Swimathon 2011 will help support Marie Curie Nurses who provide free nursing care to people with terminal cancer and other illnesses, in the place of their choice.

People can choose from 1.5k, 2.5k or 5k challenges and entries are open until April 7. For more information, visit or call 084536 70036.