Doncaster retired solicitor to take part in charity swimathon

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Swimmers across South Yorkshire are being urged to take the plunge in the world’s biggest fundraising swim.

Over 600 venues nationally are hosting a Swimathon event to help raise vital funds for Marie Curie, the UK’s leading charity for people living with a terminal illness and their families.

Now in its 30th year, Swimathon will take place across the weekend of 7th-9th April. Swimmers can challenge themselves to distances 5k, 2.5k or 1.5k, entering individually or in teams.

Sixty four year old Stella Gow, a retired solicitor from Doncaster, is taking part in the Swimathon this year.

Stella explained: “I first heard of Swimathon almost 10 years ago when my husband’s colleague took part in the event at Ponds Forge. In 2015 I signed up to the challenge for the first time in Sheffield and I’m doing it again this year in Maltby. I’ve coerced my daughter Sarah, to join me for some moral support. When I retired I took up swimming to keep fit so taking part in the Swimathon has inspired me further by providing a worthwhile goal. Taking on this kind of challenge is invigorating both physically and mentally and it is heart-warming to know that I am helping to raise much needed and appreciated funds for Marie Curie.”

Stella continued: “I’m passionate about Marie Curie as it’s imperative terminally ill patients have access to high quality palliative care and the option to spend their final days in the comfort of their own homes. Subsequent to my Mother’s death at home, I was told that the day before she died she confided in my Grandmother that she did not want to have to go into hospital again. Mercifully her wish was granted and she was spared spending the final stage of her life in hospital; although her passing was a tremendous shock, I will always be thankful for that.”

Stella concluded: “Anyone, regardless of their fitness levels, can get involved in Marie Curie events – there’s something for all abilities. Taking part in the Swimathon is far more rewarding and motivational than simply going to the gym as it gives you an incentive! The rewards from the training, fundraising and competing are amazing and the atmosphere at the event is incredible!”

Marie Curie Community Fundraiser, Nikki Ayrton, is encouraging people throughout the region to put on their swim suits and head down to their local pool to take on the Swimathon Challenge: “We’re looking for swimmers to help make this the biggest and best Swimathon yet. We really want everyone to get involved, whether you’re a beginner or an advanced swimmer, there’s a challenge to suit all abilities!”

Swimathon is taking place right after Marie Curie’s Great Daffodil Appeal in March, where the charity is asking everyone to get involved and volunteer to collect, fundraise or donate and wear a daffodil.

To find out more about Swimathon and the Great Daffodil Appeal, please contact Nikki Ayrton on 01274386190, email nikki.Ayrton@mariecurie.org.uk or visit www.mariecurie.org.uk.