How 550 swimmers managed 91 miles to raise money for charity

PUBLISHED: 07:55 03 April 2019

Annual swimathon at Parish Wharf in Harbour Road. Run by Portishead Rotary club.

Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Annual swimathon at Parish Wharf in Harbour Road. Run by Portishead Rotary club.

Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Archant

More than 91 miles were swum by hundreds of people in Portishead at the weekend to raise money for charity.

Portishead Rotary Club’s swimathon on Saturday saw more than 550 swimmers take a dip and complete length after length.

Eighty four teams took part at Parish Wharf Leisure Centre.

Miles Williams, from the club, said: “Teams of around six swimmers representing their primary schools, guides, brownies, rainbows, scouts, cubs, beavers, Parkinson’s Support, Aqua Movement Therapy, EISEY’S Community Gym, Portishead Medical Group, youth centre, swimming club, running club, Portishead and Clevedon Triathlon Club and families swam for 35 minutes recording as many lengths as they could.

“With more than 160 lengths it was the Portishead and Clevedon Triathlon Club who totalled the most lengths. Congratulations to them.”

A number of volunteers started the swimming races, including BBC weather presenter Jemma Cooper.

Miles added: “The excitement on the pool side was intense, children, parents and friends screaming and shouting encouragement from all corners of the pool all day through.

“A special thank you to Parish Wharf Leisure Centre and all their staff for their wonderful support in the build up to the event and for their help throughout the day in ensuring that the day went without a hitch.

“Also to Sainsbury’s, Portishead for its generous donation of 550 goodie bags for distribution to each and every swimmer.”

The cash raised – believed to be in the thousands of pounds – will be partly retained by the groups and the rest handed to the Rotary club to donate.

Next year’s swimathon will be held on March 28.

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