Saturday, January 7, 2012

Making a SPLASH.... with us END POLIO NOW.

Rotary Global Swimarathon makes a splash worldwide 
Swimmers of all abilities, everywhere, are being urged to take the plunge and help raise money to eradicate polio. The Rotary Global Swimarathon (RGS), devised by the Rotary Club of Grantham, has set the challenge to everyone to “grab their goggles”.
On the 25th of February 2012 participants from all six continents of the world will be represented, including Great Britain and Ireland, Argentina, South Africa, Australia, Philippines, USA and New Zealand.
All will dive in with the aim of supporting End Polio Now and setting a new Guinness World Record. To achieve this, each participating swimmer needs to complete 100 metres between 1200 and 1300 GMT. The challenge is to record as many swimmers as possible, all swimming simultaneously, wherever they are in the world, in that one hour.
The event has also attracted high profile supporters including two global event ambassadors. Penny Palfrey, Australian ultra-mararathon open water swimming world record holder, and six-time Paralympic medallist and five-time World Champion Fran Williamson, who will be attending the Grantham event. Additionally, current member of Team GB 2012 Paralympic swimming squad, Claire Cashmore will be swimming at the RGS in Knaresborough and the ladies of the Team GB Olympic water polo team have even pledged to take part whilst in training in Australia.
Event chair Roger Graves, Rotary Club of Grantham, says the idea has really taken off: “We have been running a local swimarathon for years here in Grantham and have raised thousands of pounds for good causes. We decided to see if we could go global and target efforts towards supporting End Polio Now, Rotary’s drive to eradicate the disease.”
Since first floating the idea on the internet, via Facebook and other social media sites, the event has rapidly gone worldwide. Paul Wilson, RGS social media co-ordinator added “The support from across the world is just amazing. To have the backing of swimming legends like Penny, Fran and Claire is fantastic. The 25th of February is going to be an amazing day and I would urge anyone who is interested in taking part to contact their local Rotary club which will be delighted to help. I am sure we are going to raise hundreds of thousands of pounds and have a great time in the process.”
The eradication of polio has been Rotary’s top priority since 1985. In that time, the number of cases has dropped by 99-percent across the world. Rotarians fundraise and work with health partners to administer the vaccine to every child under the age of five in developing countries, protecting them from the crippling and, at times, fatal disease.
Interested parties can find their nearest event and need to register on the official website, or follow the latest developments on the Facebook page.

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