Swimmers made a splash on Sunday to the tune of £7,500 which will be used to fund a new electronic timing board.
More than 100 members of Deepings Swimming Club took part in the event at Deepings Leisure Centre - travelling the distance equivalent to crossing the English Channel and back, a whopping 2,832 lengths of the pool.
Cheered on by more than 200 spectators and Sydney the Seahorse - the club’s friendly mascot - the feat was achieved in three hours but more importantly, through sponsorship the swimmers raised more than £6,500. Together with another £800 raised by spectators partaking in bake sales, raffles and second hand sportswear sales, the event raised about £7,500.
The club had already realised more than £3,000 in donations, which Steve Tappern, who organised Sunday’s mammoth swim, said would be used to buy a new electronic timing board.
The new board is essential to enable the club to host more events - a vital source of income. The current board is more than 20 years old and is unreliable.
Steve said: “To say our current board is temperamental is putting it politely so having this new board will make a hell of a difference to the club.
“It was a really great event – all those months of organising it certainly paid off. I was immensely pleased with how it all went and how much was raised. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves – spectators and swimmers.”
He described the atmosphere in the leisure centre as “buzzing” during the event, especially as two of the club’s most successful members – Paralympian Rob Welbourn and Alex Thurston, who has picked up medals in the European Masters Swimming Championships – swam the final lengths.
But club members of all ages from eight to 75 took part and Steve said he was grateful for everyone’s support.
A Crowdfunding page where people can donate will stay active until the end of the month for anyone who still wishes to help the club, which has more than 180 swimmers on its books.