While it was a dull day outside on Sunday, inside the swimming pool at Pavilions in the Park the atmosphere was electric as records for the Horsham Lions Swimarathon were being broken.
The eighth annual fundraiser saw a record amount of £12,377.15 pledged and the maximum number of 40 teams took part for the very first time.
Indivduals of all ages and numerous organisations swam 4320 lengths in the 25 metre main pool, beating the 2017 record by some distance.
This is equal to 108,000 metres or 72 metric miles, again beating all of last year in overall distance.
Lion Tom Osborne said: “It was another outstanding day, well attended by everyone having an interest in the event, their families, friends and support groups.
“Hats off to our disabled swimmers who were just as remarkable in their efforts to compete with the best of them.
“A big thanks to all 240 swimmers for making it what it was, a great day out and memorable occasion for all of us.”
| READ MORE: Take a look at the Horsham Swimarathon in pictures |
Councillor Peter Burgess, chair of Horsham District Council attended and welcomed all the participating teams and supporters and officially opened the event.
Horsham MP Jeremy Quin was also able to attend and assisted in presenting the medals to all participating swimmers.
Peter Burgess said: “Teams came from all over Horsham District and had to swim a length of the Pavilion’s pool of 25 metres.
“This was done in a relay, each member doing one length in turn and then repeating for the allotted time of 55 minutes, so no mean feat.”
Half of the amount raised by the Swimarathon, plus tax received through Gift Aid, will go to The Jigsaw Trust based in Cranleigh.
The charity supports 65 children between four and 19 years of age who have autism and 31 adults with autism at for Long Life Learning, and the money will go towards a new play area and new IT equipment.
Robin Legge, head of fundraising at the Jigsaw Trust: said “On behalf of everyone at Jigsaw Trust, we would like to say a heartfelt thank you to all the swimmers who took part in the Swimarathon.
“It was truly inspiring to see the efforts and dedication from each team and we feel very fortunate to have been part of this event.
“We’d also like to thank everyone at the Horsham Lions Club. This year’s Swimarathon was a testament to how popular and well organised this event is and Horsham is lucky to have such a committed and altruistic club on it’s doorstep.”
The other 50 per cent of the funds raised at the event will be distributed between local organisations and charities chosen by the participating teams.
A small proportion will also go to Horsham Lions local good causes.
Lion president Clare Wilson of Horsham Lions Club wanted to give her thanks to Peter Burgess, Jeremy Quin and Robin Legge and representatives of The Jigsaw Trust for attending.
She added: “Thank you also for all 40 competing teams, in particularly the team captains who organised their teams for this great day.
“Our thanks must also be given to PTC Systems, a nationwide company that specialise in IT systems, for sponsoring this 2019 event.
“A final thanks to members of the Lions Club in Horsham, the Swimarathon sub committee and organising teams for their valuable contribution to this day and event.”
For more information about the Horsham Lions Club, email Lion David Trowbridge at firstname.lastname@example.org