FORMER team GB swimmer Mark Foster is calling on Worcestershire people to dive in for the first ever Swimathon Festival.
The major celebration of swimming will see pool and organised open water events take place on the same weekend for the first time between September 10 and 12.
Mark, an advocate for keeping community pools open, is urging people of all ages and abilities to take part in the sponsored event which raises money for Cancer Research UK, Marie Curie and the Swimathon Foundation.
With a variety of distances to choose from – from 400m, up to a Triple 5k, and a new 30.9k option – the Swimathon Festival offers a challenge for all open water or pool swimmers whether they are early divers or evening dippers, fast lane speedsters or leisurely lappers.
People can also participate individually or as part of a team.
Those who cannot make one of the organised sessions can sign up to the MySwimathon, taking place from September 3 to 19 where they can choose a time and venue to suit them,
After a challenging year that has seen pools, swimmers and charities lose out due to the impact of the pandemic, Mark is helping to champion the positive power of swimming.
He said: “I have been involved with Swimathon for around ten years now, and in the current climate, this year’s event feels more important than ever – both for getting the nation active again and for helping the charities that so need it.
“Covid has stopped so much — there are a lot of people out there that still need help and diseases that need research. Those things don’t just go away.
“We know that swimming is a wonderful boost for both physical and mental health, but it can also be a great help to charities.”
Swimathon, the world’s biggest annual swimming fund-raiser, has raised more than £55m for charities since it began in 1986.
This year will also see the Swimathon Foundation donate £2.50 from every entry fee to help protect Swimathon venues for the future.
Visit swimathon.org for more on the Swimathon Festival 2021 and to sign up.