Sheffield swimmer signs up big names for fundraising record attempt

Swimmer Lewis Coleman with his mum Margaret, who is undergoing treatment for luekaemia. Lewis has organised a fundraising swim to make clinical trials and new drugs accessible to more patients.
Swimmer Lewis Coleman with his mum Margaret, who is undergoing treatment for luekaemia. Lewis has organised a fundraising swim to make clinical trials and new drugs accessible to more patients.
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Sheffield will welcome a host of elite swimmers as a rising star makes a big splash for charity.

Lewis Coleman is gathering world-class sportsmen and women in the city for a sponsored relay race with a difference next year.

In the world record attempt the 21-year-old will be joined by a team of 99 other swimmers, each of whom will tackle 100 metres to raise cash for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research.

Lewis, who moved to Middlewood three years ago to train in Sheffield full time, felt compelled to raise cash for the charity after his mother was diagnosed with the disease last year.

It was pioneering clinical trials which have helped Margaret Coleman, 47, who currently lives in Belgium, get on track to recovery. The trials are often funded with charity cash and Lewis hopes to raise money to help more people access treatment.

He said: “The diagnosis came as a huge shock because at the time mum was training for a Land’s End to John O’Groats bike ride. She felt a little more tired than usual, but mum being mum she just got on with it. Later we found out she had leukaemia.

“At first mum’s chemotherapy didn’t work. She had a bone marrow transplant four weeks ago, which her body would have rejected if she hadn’t had the drug from the clinical trial. Everything seems to have gone okay with it. I’m on the phone to her every day.”

The world record for the fastest 100 people x 100m relay race is one hour, 37 minutes and 53 seconds, which Lewis and his army will aim to beat next February.

Olympians and retired professionals are among those who have pledged to take part - but the young star is remaining tight-lipped on names until Ponds Forge confirms the date.

The pool is a home from home for Lewis - who visits 10 times a week as part of his gruelling regime.

“I haven’t got a fundraising target yet, but the more money I get, the more people can be helped,” he said.

Sponsor him at www.justgiving.com/LewisColeman