Ro­tary pro­motes global gath­er­ing of swim­mers

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By DAVID HULME

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.

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