Jo out to make big splash in city pool

WATER BOMBING CHAMPIONSHIPS  Richard Lambert taking part in the water bombing championships at Ponds Forge.   28 April 2010
WATER BOMBING CHAMPIONSHIPS Richard Lambert taking part in the water bombing championships at Ponds Forge. 28 April 2010
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A POPULAR comedienne will be hoping to make a big splash for a leading cancer charity when she takes part in a weird and wonderful fundraiser in Sheffield.

Jo Brand will be diving in to the city to take part in the Macmillan Water Bombing Championships, held at Ponds Forge leisure centre on Wednesday.

She will be filming the event for her new TV series, Jo Brand’s Big Splash, due to air on digital channel Dave.

Teams will take part in fancy dress, with prizes to be handed out for the best group, best individual bomber and best fancy dress costume.

Jo said: “It might come as a surprise to you, but I’ve never previously won a world championship in any sporting event.

“But now I’ve finally found the world championships for which I’ve been preparing all my life. Some competitors will hope to make waves. I’m hoping to make a Big Splash.”

Also joining her on the diving board will be Dr Mike Thomson, paediatric gastroenterologist, and Mick Sumner, an operating department practitioner, who both work at Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

The pair will be defending their title of World Water Bombing Champions, this time against 11 other teams.

Dr Thomson said: “It’s a great event and I wanted to get involved as I see the fantastic work of Macmillan funded nurses at the hospital.

“We want to raise as much money as possible for this very worthwhile cause.”

This year’s event is extra special as the charity is celebrating its 100th anniversary.

They are hoping to raise £10,000 and are urging as many people as possible to go along on the night and support those taking part. Spectators are asked to make a suggested donation of £2 or more which includes entry and a commemorative programme.

All money raised at the event will go towards the care and support the charity provides – in particular a bowel cancer specialist nurse and a lung cancer specialist nurse, both to be based at Weston Park Hospital.

Steve Loane, area fundraising manager for Macmillan, said: “Most of us know someone affected by cancer and this is a great way to help.

“All the teams make a fabulous effort and we need as many people to come down and create a real carnival atmosphere on the night. This year we have the added bonus of Jo Brand trying to capture the coveted title of individual World Water Bombing Championship. That is surely too good an opportunity to miss!”

Visit www.justgiving.com/mike-thomson to sponsor Dr Thomson.

The Star has joined forces with the charity to mark its milestone birthday with The Star Business Challenge – appealing for 100 or more local firms to raise a total of 100,000 for the charity during 2011. Individuals are also invited to help raise money for the cause during their centenary year.

Email sloane@macmillan.org.uk or call 01246 810301.