Make a splash at JDLC

FANCY making a splash this year by taking part in the world’s biggest fundraising swim?

The Joey Dunlop Leisure centre is joining 580 other centres nationwide by hosting the Swimathon 2011 challenge on 8th - 10th April to raise much-needed money for Marie Curie Cancer Care and the Swimathon Foundation.

Calling on people to get involved Paul Lyness Head of the Ballymoney Leisure Services said: “The world’s biggest fundraising swim is the perfect way to start the New Year on a healthy note. Swimming is proven to be a great form of exercise whatever your ability, relaxing for mind and body, and helps to build endurance, muscle strength and cardio-vascular fitness. By registering for Swimathon as soon as possible, swimmers will have longer to train for their 1.5k, 2.5k or 5k challenge and they will also enjoy half price entry.

“Swimathon is also fantastic as it brings our community together as they raise money for charity, and provides them with a great challenge.”

TV presenter and keen swimmer Gail Porter and Olympic gold medallist Duncan Goodhew announced last week that Swimathon 2011 entries are now open.

Between 8-10 April it is hoped that 22,000 swimmers will raise more than £2 million for Marie Curie Cancer Care and the Swimathon Foundation.

Funds will help support Marie Curie Nurses who provide free nursing care to people with terminal cancer and other terminal illnesses, in the place of their choice.

Gail Porter continued: “Launching Swimathon this year gives me huge pleasure. 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. I find swimming a great way to keep fit, especially as it’s an activity I enjoy with my child. Going down to your local pool and getting them used to being in the water is just the start of the fun. Once my daughter was up and paddling, there was no stopping us!

“What’s more - the money raised will help Marie Curie Cancer Care to provide free nursing care to terminally ill people. I know what a difference this care can make as both my mum and my grandmother died from cancer and received care at home from a Marie Curie Nurse. Caring for a loved one at the end of their life is never going to be an easy time for families but it was made much more bearable for us by the skill and care of these amazing nurses.”

Duncan added: “As we approach a quarter of a century of Swimathons, 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. From these grass roots right up to our overflowing international trophy cabinet, it seems that Britain’s love affair with swimming really is back to stay.”

Swimming times are: Friday: 15.30pm-18.30pm. Saturday: 12.30pm-15.30pm. Sunday: 13.30-15.30pm

Individual and team entries to Swimathon 2011 are open until 6 April 2011. To enter go online to www.swimathon or call 0845 36 700 36.