Invit­ing night swim­mers

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By DAVID HULME

Fancy a mid­night dip for char­ity and the chance to be part of a world record at­tempt?

Mata­mata Ro­tary is of­fer­ing this op­por­tu­nity to the com­mu­nity as part of a world­wide push to raise funds to erad­i­cate po­lio from the planet.

The Ro­tary Global Swimarathon event will be held in the early hours of Sun­day, Fe­bru­ary 26 at the Mata­mata Sports Cen­tre pool to co­in­cide with events in more than 50 cities and towns around the globe.

Ro­tary Club

of Mata­mata vice- pres­i­dent Graeme Guil­ford said the idea was to have as many peo­ple around the world swim 100m be­tween noon and 1pm Green­wich Mean Time in an at­tempt at a world record for the most peo­ple swim­ming world­wide at the same time.

‘‘So in Mata­mata, we need peo­ple swim­ming be­tween 1am and 2am in the morn­ing which is a re­ally novel con­cept,’’ Mr Guil­ford said.

‘‘ This is a unique op­por­tu­nity for peo­ple to be part of a world record at­tempt, have some fun and more im­por­tantly raise funds to help rid the world of po­lio.’’

Mr Guil­ford said Ro­tary In­ter­na­tional joined forces with the World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion more than 20 years ago with the aim of elim­i­nat­ing po­lio and in 2012 that aim was close to be­ing re­alised.

‘‘At present there are only four coun­tries where po­lio is still present but it is vi­tal we im­mu­nise chil­dren in these coun­tries to en­sure the dis­ease does not spread into other parts of the world,’’ Mr Guil­ford said.

‘‘This is a fab­u­lous in­ter­na­tional cause for peo­ple to get be­hind. Imag­ine in years to come be­ing able to tell peo­ple you played a part in help­ing to erad­i­cate po­lio from the world.’’

To that end, the Ro­tary Global Swimarathon is be­ing held.

‘‘We are ask­ing peo­ple to sign up to swim just 100m be­tween the hours of 1am and 2am and pay a $20 en­try fee to do that,’’ Mr Guil­ford said. ‘‘We would also like peo­ple to try and raise fur­ther spon­sor­ship on top of the $20 en­try fee and all the money raised will go to Ro­tary In­ter­na­tional’s po­lio fund.’’

En­tries forms are avail­able from Pa­per Plus and the Mata­mata Chron­i­cle of­fices.

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