Making a splash

Alnwick Rotary - Swimarathon'Marion Long seen trying to control an assembly of swimmers.
Alnwick Rotary - Swimarathon'Marion Long seen trying to control an assembly of swimmers.

SWIMMERS from north Northumberland paddled their way into the record books as part of a global event to raise awareness for a child vaccination programme.

Supporters of the Rotary Club of Alnwick held a Swimarathon at Willowburn Leisure Centre in aid of the charity’s End Polio Now campaign, while the local Rotakids group organised a highly successful publicity campaign involving flyers, posters in schools and website notices.

Around 80 swimmers took part, with each covering 100 metres between noon and 1pm on February 25 – the same time as identical events were being staged around the world. More than £30,000 was raised globally, enough to vaccinate 150,000 children and a new world record for simultaneous swimming was set.

Graham Smith, from Alnwick Rotary, said: “The swimmers of Alnwick are now World Record holders. Their efforts are unlikely to be rewarded with knighthoods, but they do deserve a huge thank-you from those who have been saved from a terrible, wasting disease.”