Rotary Global Swimarathon Event Is a Success

As a followup to an earlier article, here is a report on the success of  the February, 2012, Swimarathon.  

The Rotary Global Swimarathon has set a new record and raised thousands of pounds for End Polio Now!

In 23 countries across the world, over 5,000 swimmers took the plunge and swam 100 metres at exactly the same time on the 25th of February. Although awaiting official confirmation, it is hoped that the swimmers have broken the original Guinness World Record of over 2,500 people swimming simultaneously. Early reports say funds raised are close to £29K. This figure is expected to rise further as donations flood in.

The event appealed to swimmers of all ages and abilities. GB Paralympians Claire Cashmore and David Ellis took part in Knaresborough. Elsewhere in Grantham ex paralympic gold medallist swimmer David Moreton swam in the presence of UK event ambassador Fran Williamson who was guest of honour and led the way in cheering on the swimmers.

Moin (pictured) is 14 years old and was born with a fragile bone condition. He has suffered more than 200 fractures but this has not stopped him learning to swim. Moin requested medical permission to take part even though he currently has four fractures.

An Interact club in Pakistan participated in the worldwide Swimarathon at a hotel in Lahore. During their time at the hotel the club met the guests and general public and provided them information about polio.

Around the world there were many national and international swimmers taking part, including world class Australian triathlete, Brad Bevan, and Grant Scooter Patterson, Paralympic Australian swimmer.

Over in America, 84 swimmers and a dog were recorded at the early-bird pitch black ocean swim in San Diego where they used glow sticks to navigate at 4 a.m.

Event Chair Roger Graves, Rotary Club of Grantham, says “The Swimarathon is such a fun and easy way for people to raise money and help Rotary’s drive to wipe out polio all across the world. We are so close to saying goodbye to this crippling disease. In previous years, we have raised thousands for local causes in our own local Swimarathons. This year, I think we are set to break fundraising records and really boost Rotary’s polio eradication initiative, which has been running since 1985.100 Rotary clubs took part all across the world which is wonderful."

Paul Wilson social media coordinator added: “The idea was first floated on the internet, using social networking. Within just a few days we had interest from swimmers across the globe, all wanting to take part. It was wonderful to see such commitment from Rotary clubs and swimming fans.

Rotarians are worldwide are invited to join Rotary Global Swimarathon’s Facebook page and start planning for next year’s event.