Dive In & Fight Back At Cancer At Putney Leisure Centre

Entries open for the world's biggest fundraising swim

Swimmer entry is open at www.swimathon.org until 24 April 2013.

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The world’s biggest fundraising swim is back for another year and Marie Curie Cancer Care is urging swimmers across to sign up for a new challenge for 2013. The first swimathon was in 1986 and since then more than half a million swimmers have taken part, raising over £38 million for charity.

Held at over 600 pools across the UK from 26-28 April, the event sees thousands of swimmers challenge themselves through 5k, 2.5k and 1.5k individual challenges or Team 5k/1.5k challenges, while raising funds to help Marie Curie Nurses care for terminally ill people at the end of their lives.

Presenter, Tim Lovejoy and Swimathon President/Olympic gold medallist, Duncan Goodhew launched the event with the unveiling of their Swimathon Squad. Duncan, Tim, a Marie Curie Cancer Care supporter, a journalist and undertook their first training session this month ahead of their 5k team challenge later this year.

Tim Lovejoy commented: “Being part of the Swimathon Squad is a fantastic opportunity to brush up on my swimming skills, while raising awareness of Marie Curie Cancer Care. Like many people, my family has been affected by cancer so I know just how important the Marie Curie Nursing service is to people at the end of their lives and their families.

Marie Curie Cancer Care supporter Alison Stevenson, from Putney, who raised a fantastic £1357 last year, said: “As a young child I was a competitive swimmer and then in my teens and as a young adult I was also a life guard and a swim instructor. But life, as it does for us all, took over and I stopped swimming at some point during university. Then with a career, then marriage and kids I just didn't ever get back in the pool. Then a few years ago a good childhood friend of mine passed away from breast cancer at the age of 32. It was maddening, desperately sad, painful and incomprehensible. Ever year since I have done something to raise money for a cancer charity in her memory. The training for the Swimathon was such an enjoyable time for me that since the event I have kept up my swimming and now go at least twice a week. I find a peace in the pool that does not exist when chasing after my three boys!!!”

Emilia from Marie Curie Cancer Care says: “Every year people across Putney take on a Swimathon challenge and have a great time raising funds along the way. You can even choose to take part individually or as part of a team. This year we hope even more people will take the plunge and raise funds to help Marie Curie Nurses provide more free nursing care to terminally ill people in their own homes.”

Marie Curie Cancer Care gives people with all terminal illnesses the choice to die at home. Funds raised by taking on Swimathon 2013 will help Marie Curie nurses provide them and their families with free hands-on care and emotional support, in their own homes, right until the end.

Marie Curie Cancer Care has been the official charity partner of Swimathon since 2007, with swimmers raising over £7 million for the charity over the past six years, providing thousands of hours of nursing care and support to terminally ill people and their families

The charity expects to provide care to around 35,000 people with terminal cancer and other illnesses in the community and in its nine hospices this year. Research shows around 63 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 have the choice to cared for and die in their place of choice

Swimmer entry is open at www.swimathon.org until 24 April 2013.

February 8, 2013

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