Maidenhead Advertiser

Swimmers preparing to make a splash for charity

Maidenhead: Swimaratho­n to return to January slot for first time in two years

- By Kieran Bell kieranb@baylismedi­ @KieranB_BM

A key event on the Maidenhead calendar is set to return this weekend in its usual timeslot – with thousands hoped to be raised for charity.

The Lions Club of Maidenhead has been organising its annual Swimaratho­n for the last 36 years, but the 2022 version is hoped to take place under more normal circumstan­ces.

Last year it was held in July after restrictio­ns on gatherings preventing it from taking place in its usual January slot, however it is set to make a traditiona­l return on Sunday.

The event involves teams competing in relay swimming for 12 hours at the Braywick Leisure Centre, with organisati­ons taking part made up of schools, churches and other community groups.

A total of 96 teams have been confirmed for this year’s Swimaratho­n, said Lions Club secretary Brenda Butler.

The event returns big sums for charity, with a bumper £34,000 raised in the summer, and organisers are hoping similarly impressive numbers can be reached again.

Each team nominates a good cause to benefit from their swim, with donations and gift aid shared 50:50 between that charity and the Lions.

The Swimaratho­n is also supported with a grant from the Advertiser’s publisher, the Louis Baylis Trust.

“Most of them are returning teams but there are a few new faces,” Brenda said of this weekend's event, adding that the ongoing coronaviru­s situation is continousl­y being monitored.

“Quite a few people have asked if it is still happening, and as far as we are concerned, it is. We are taking COVID precaution­s and are very aware of the rising infections. But at the moment we are all systems go – we have to try.”

Brenda added: “July was so nice after all the lockdowns to just do something but the Swimaratho­n has always been in January so it seemed wrong somehow, but it was still lovely.

“The event has become part of the Maidenhead calendar to be honest and people kind of expect it now.

“And the financial support from the Louis Baylis Trust enables us to cover the admin costs, which is a great help.”

Check out next week’s paper and our website (wwwmaidenh­ to see a selection of pictures and reaction from this year’s Swimaratho­n.

 ?? ?? Gareth Anderson, Catrin Anderson and Elen Anderson at the July Swimaratho­n. Ref:130794-29
Gareth Anderson, Catrin Anderson and Elen Anderson at the July Swimaratho­n. Ref:130794-29

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