It’s time to don your swimming costume and take part in 12 weeks of swimming.
WaterAid’s flagship swimming event, Swim Marathon, begins today, and anyone can participate.
All swimmers need to do – no matter their experience level – is swim 13 or 26 miles in the space of 12 weeks (AKA, a half or full marathon), all to raise money for the charity.
People can take part in their local pool or by swimming in a safe open water space – so it’s completely up to the swimmer to decide when and how they get involved.
Over the last two years, 550 swimmers have taken part in the challenge – with many saying not only did it do good for the charity, but it served their mental health, too.
Past participant, Rach O’Sullivan, took to open water swimming.
She said: ‘I’ve had a long history of anxiety and depression [and] two years ago I took up sea swimming to help, and it did hugely I went from having several panic attacks a week to none.
‘Swimming has been my lifeline. I decided I needed to do something positive to have a focus over the coming months.’
At the time of the challenge, she was more of a ‘dipper’ than a swimmer, but nine weeks in and she had swam 42km in total – and raised hundreds of pounds.
For anyone unsure where to start, WaterAid provides a 12-week plan to help build up speed, stamina and confidence.
Jennie York, director of communications and fundraising at WaterAid, said: ‘The chance to swim in so many beautiful venues in the UK is a reminder of how lucky we are to enjoy water, both through leisure and our access to safe drinking water.
‘Yet there are still 771 million people around the world – that is one in ten – who do not have clean water close to home, forcing millions to spend hours each day collecting water and risk their health by drinking dirty water.
‘By taking part in Swim Marathon, people can help give the gift of water to communities around the world.’
More information can be found here.
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