This is when Horsham Lions’ Swimarathon will return for a 10th year

The Horsham Lions Club will hold its tenth running Swimarathon later this year when it returns some six months later than usual due to the pandemic.

Monday, 10th May 2021, 2:55 pm

The club’s biggest annual event will once again take place at The Pavilions in the Park Leisure Centre on Sunday, September 19, with the closing date for entries on Monday, August 23.

Last year’s Swimarathon was a record-breaking day after teams of fundraisers made a splash for charity on Sunday, March 15, despite being a time of uncertainty just before the start of the first lockdown.

Lion President David Trowbridge said: “Whilst the event is being held six months later than normal, it is great that Horsham Lions have been able to put on the event in 2021.

1st Harwood Guides Teams 1, 2 & 3 SUS-190320-114700001

“It is hoped that over the next two years we will be able to get back to hold the Swimarathon in March again.”

Over the last nine years, the Swimarathon has raised more than £60,000 which has been donated to a number of local schools, organisations and charities.

In 2017 and 2018 the event supported Chestnut Tree House Children’s Hospice which provides a wide range of services for children with life-shortening conditions and their families. Over the two years the event raised an amazing amount totalling £18,192.29 for the hospice.

In 2019, the Swimarathon supported Jigsaw Trust which provides specialist education and support for children and adults with autism, based on Dunsfold Park in Surrey. The event raised £5,500 was used to refurbish the children’s play area.

Lion Tom Osborne said: “In 2020 the Swimarathon raised £5,000 for Horsham Matters which was used to help provide food for the food bank and night shelter.

“Horsham Matters is a small charity making a big impact on the local community in Horsham. Formed in 2006, Horsham Matters works to relieve hardship through the provision of essential services (food, fuel, shelter) in order to make a positive, long-lasting impact on people’s lives.

“Since the start of the pandemic there has been a threefold increase in the need for a food bank for those struggling financially due to illness, furlough or loss of livelihood.

“In 2021 Horsham Matters plans to open a community hub which will incorporate a supermarket– tyle foodbank.

“The hub will also include a cafe where those that can pay do so and those in financial difficulties are subsides or eat free. Funds raised by Swimarathon 2021 will be used for setting up the hub cafe and contribute to creating an inclusive healthy community in Horsham.”

Fisty per cent of the money raised by the competing teams is either used for the teams’ own projects or is donated to charities of their choice.

The remaining 50 per cent raised comes to the Lions club, of which 60 per cent goes to its nominated charity – which this year is Horsham Matters – and the remaining 40 per cent is retained by Horsham Lions to be used to support local people in need.

Swimarathon teams can consist of people aged eight to 70 upwards and can include up to six swimmers plus an adult non-swimming team captain.

The first team member swims on length of the pool and then rests while the other members take turns to swim a length of 25 metres. The first swimmer then swims again and so on, for 55 minutes.

Due to Covid restrictions at present, the teams start times are yet to be confirmed, however eight teams can be accommodated each hour.

Lion Tom Osborne said: “Why not ask your friends, families or colleagues to come and have a go. It’s great fun, its good healthy exercise and not least, you will be helping and supporting your local community.”

You can enter a team by emailing Lion David Trowbridge on [email protected]owbridge.me.uk for an entry form and information pack. Alternatively visit www.horshamlions.freeuk.com

This year’s event event will be sponsored by D Durrant Removals and Storage, Woodlands Estate and Letting Agents.

For more about Horsham Lions Club or to join, visit the website or email Lion David Trowbridge at [email protected]