Rotary promotes global gathering of swimmers
Support is growing for this weekend’s Rotary Global Swimarathon to raise funds to eradicate polio worldwide and be part of a world record attempt.
Rotary District 9930 governor Raewyn Kirkman from Hamilton has confirmed her entry in the event to support members from the Rotary Club of Matamata.
The swim is from 1am to 2am this Sunday morning, February 26, at the Matamata Sports Centre.
‘‘I do tend to dive right into Rotary causes and despite the fact that I have never really learned to swim, I felt like I couldn’t really stand on the sidelines while keen Rotarians got up in the early hours of the morning to swim for polio,’’ Ms Kirkman said.
‘‘Originally I just intended to come along and watch but figured I might as well get wet too.
‘‘This is such an opportunity as a worldwide organisation to know that at the same time the world over, Rotarians passionate about eradicating polio are all swimming together for a cause.’’
Ms Kirkman said Rotary International had been at the forefront of the global battle to eradicate polio in the world for more than 20 years and there were now only three countries where the disease was still considered endemic.
Rotary Club of Matamata vicepresident Graeme Guilford said there had been plenty of talk around town in the month leading up to the swim and many people had collected entry forms for it.
The Rotary Global Swimarathon is being run by more than 100 different Rotary clubs around the world with the aim of having as many people swimming in the one- hour time period as possible to try and break the world record.
To date, entries had been coming in steadily and it was preferable, for organising purposes, to have as many entries in before the night as possible, Mr Guilford said.
The adult entry fee is $20 while school children can participate in the event for $ 5 each. The club was hoping that some participants would seek further sponsorship for their efforts of completing 100m in the early hours of the morning.
‘‘Please get here in plenty of time before 1am because the event needs to start right on time. There will be energy drinks, a sausage sizzle and hot beverages available on the night.
‘‘ And if you are unsure about completing 100m but still want to participate, just come along and give it a go; there will be a designated lane for you,’’ Mr Guilford said.
He said with the level of interest expressed around town over the last few weeks it was hoped that many hundreds of people would turn up to take part.
Entries forms are available from Matamata Paper Plus and Toyworld which is also the venue for completed entries and the entry fee to be handed in. Entries will also be available on the night at the complex.
Raewyn Kirkham pictured with Matamata Rotary president Eric Muckle.