01:13PM, Wednesday 12 January 2022
An annual Maidenhead swimming fundraiser returned at the weekend in its usual January timeslot – and organisers hope the event has raised more than £30,000 for good causes.
The Swimarathon is a long-running event organised by the Lions Club of Maidenhead in which teams complete relays in a pool for 12 hours.
It has been taking place for the last 37 years, with organisations including schools, churches and local authorities entering participants.
On Sunday, the Swimarathon made a return to the Braywick Leisure Centre just six months since it last took place in July, as each team nominated a good cause to benefit from their swim.
Donations and gift aid will be shared 50:50 between that charity and the Lions.
Club secretary Brenda Butler confirmed that 94 teams competed in this year’s showcase – made up of 24 organisations and 800 swimmers – and was hopeful the event would raise in excess of £30,000.
“People were just so pleased to be there,” Brenda said. “It just felt normal – obviously there were lots of masks and COVID precautions, but it was lovely.
“We did it in July and also in January 2020 – we have not missed a year so we are in that very unusual position. We are quite amazed.”
Maidenhead MP Theresa May and Royal Borough mayor Cllr John Story visited the swimmers on the day, while the fundraiser is also supported by the Advertiser’s publisher, the Louis Baylis Trust.
In addition to the fundraising total, Brenda confirmed that five teams will be also receiving an extra £200 donation from the Lions.
Courthouse Junior School, Cookham Rise School and the 1st Burnham and Hitcham Scouts were three of the groups chosen.
The other two – Claires Court School and Highfield Prep – planned to donate the extra cash to The Link Foundation and Rosie’s Rainbow Fund charities respectively.
“The Swimarathon is enjoyed by a lot of people on the day and continues to benefit even more throughout the year,” Brenda said.
“The actual event itself is such a win-win with young and older people joining in as a team in a keep fit activity, and at the same time raising funds for good causes.”
An awards evening is due to be held later this year with Team GB’s Paralympic bronze medal winning canoeist Jeanette Chippington OBE, who will present the accolades after taking part in the Swimarathon herself.
Flick through the gallery above to view our pictures from the Swimarathon.
Maidenhead and Slough travellers have long been waiting for the arrival of Crossrail to whisk them quickly into central London.