Swimmers go to great lengths for good cause

It seems appropriate that water-based organisations will be the major beneficiaries of this year’s Generation Homes Rotary Swimarathon.

The event, which is jointly run by the three local Rotary Clubs, is raising funds for Orewa and Red Beach Surf Lifesaving Clubs, Orewa Sea Scouts and Coastguard Hibiscus.

It involves teams of up to six swimmers who swim as many laps of the Stanmore Bay Leisure Centre pool as they can in 45 minutes, in support of one of the nominated charities.

Although it is mainly a fun event for swimmers of all abilities – from school kids to grandparents – this year’s event also offers, for the first time, the opportunity for surf clubs, swim and water polo clubs to compete for the Basil Blackham Memorial Challenge Cup. The team that swims the most lengths in a 45-minute period will keep the cup for the next 12 months.

Last year’s inaugural event saw 123 swimmers complete 3916 lengths, raising $10,000 for local charities. Rotary Swimarathon chair Brian Mullan says this year it is hoped to more than double the number of both swimmers, and funds raised.

The Rotary Swimarathon takes place on Sunday, June 30.

Spectators and supporters are welcome – Brian says an additional attraction is that Rodney MP Mark Mitchell is taking part in support of Orewa Surf Lifesaving Club. “It is rumoured he could even swim in Speedos!” Brian says.

Entry is free and registrations are open until May 12. Info: www.rotaryswimarathon.org.nz

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