Going to great lengths to help Marie Curie Cancer Care

Published on 31st March 2011

9 April 2011 – it’s not too late to sign up!

The world's biggest fundraising swim will take place at leisure@cheltenham, from 5pm to 8pm on Saturday 9 April 2011.   So far, more than twenty people have signed up and it's not too late to register.

Swimathon 2011 is set to hit a record 580 pools across the UK between 8-10 April, when 22,000 swimmers will raise more than £2 million for Marie Curie Cancer Care and the Swimathon Foundation. Entries are via www.swimathon.org.

Activities coordinator for leisure@cheltenham, Nicky Rees, said: "I'm really excited that we are taking part in the Swimathon again after last year's success. It's fantastic to see so many people take part and fundraise for Marie Curie Cancer Care to enable terminally ill patients to have the best possible end of life care.

"We are also looking for volunteers to help with lap counting so please contact us if you are able to help on 01242 528764."

Television presenter, Gail Porter said: "Launching Swimathon this year gives me huge pleasure. The challenge is ideal motivation for everyone to pull on their swimsuits, get in the pool and enjoy a much-needed New Year health boost. I find swimming a great way to keep fit, especially as it's an activity I enjoy with my child. Going down to your local pool and getting them used to being in the water is just the start of the fun. Once my daughter was up and paddling, there was no stopping us!

"What's more - the money raised will help Marie Curie Cancer Care to provide free nursing care to terminally ill people. I know what a difference this care can make as both my mum and my grandmother died from cancer and received care at home from a Marie Curie Nurse. Caring for a loved one at the end of their life is never going to be an easy time for families but it was made much more bearable for us by the skill and care of these amazing nurses."

Swimathon President, Duncan Goodhew commented: "We are approaching a quarter of a century of Swimathons and I'm delighted to report that last year's event enjoyed an astonishing 38 per cent rise in swimmers. And what's really exciting is that around 2,500 of those who dived in told us that they only started swimming again because they entered the event. From these grass roots right up to our overflowing international trophy cabinet, it seems that Britain's love affair with swimming really is back to stay."

Funds raised by Swimathon 2011 will help support Marie Curie Nurses who provide free nursing care to people with terminal cancer and other terminal illnesses, in the place of their choice. The charity expects to care for over 29,000 terminally ill patients in the community and in its hospices this year.
Now in its 24th year, over half a million swimmers have taken part in Swimathon and have raised more than £34 million for charity.

Individual and team entries to Swimathon 2011 are open until 6 April 2011. To enter,or to sponsor a swimmer, visit www.swimathon.org or call 0845 36 700 36.


Photographers are welcome to attend

Contact: Katie Sandey, communications team leader, telephone 01242 775050, email Katie.sandey@www.cheltenham.gov.uk

Notes:

Leisure@cheltenham is owned by Cheltenham Borough Council, and offers high quality facilities. The leisure centre has won numerous awards for its green credentials since re-opening, as well as being recognised for the national Sport and Leisure award as part of the 2010 Government Business Awards.

Read more information about leisure@cheltenham or call 01242 528764, or email us. You can also follow us on facebook.

Marie Curie Cancer Care is one of the UK's largest charities.
 Employing more than 2,700 nurses, doctors and other healthcare professionals, it expects to provide care to around 29,000 terminally ill patients in the community and in its hospices this year and is the largest provider of hospice beds outside the NHS.
 Funding: Around 70 per cent of the charity's income comes from the generous support of thousands of individuals, membership organisations and businesses, with the balance of the funds coming from the NHS.
 Marie Curie Nurses: The charity is best known for its network of Marie Curie Nurses working in the community to provide end-of-life care, totally free for patients in their own homes.
 Supporting the choice to die at home: Research shows around 65 per cent of people would like to die at home if they had a terminal illness, with a sizeable minority opting for hospice care. However, more than 50 per cent of cancer deaths still occur in hospital, the place people say they would least like to be. Since 2004 Marie Curie Cancer Care has been campaigning for more patients to be able to make the choice to be cared for and die at home.

1. The Swimathon Foundation, a company limited by guarantee, is the independent registered charity which owns the annual national Swimathon event.
 The Swimathon Foundation through its trading subsidiary arranges the staging and promotion of the Swimathon event in a nationwide network of participating swimming pools, to encourage members of the public, whatever their age or ability, to understand and realise the benefits of regular swimming as a means to improve health and wellbeing and to achieve personal fitness goals.
 The Swimathon Foundation selects a National Charity Partner to promote itself and its charitable activities in association with the Swimathon and to receive Funds from members of the public, including those participating in the Swimathon, in support of its activities. For the 2011 Swimathon the selected Charity is Marie Curie Cancer Care.
 In addition, The Swimathon Foundation aims to support local communities in their efforts to promote the benefits of physical activity, particularly through swimming.

2. The 50% discount applies to Distance Challenge Swimathon entry fees paid online or telephone between 4 January and 31 January 2011 only.