Scores of swimmers take on charity challenge

12-389 Hemel Hempstead Swimming Club Coach, Alan Doyle,'photographed with club members and pupils from St.Cuthbert Matne School after the Swimathon on Saturday.
12-389 Hemel Hempstead Swimming Club Coach, Alan Doyle,'photographed with club members and pupils from St.Cuthbert Matne School after the Swimathon on Saturday.
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YOUNG swimmers took the plunge to raise cash for a good cause and smashed their target to cover 2.5km.

Eight youngsters, aged from nine to 11 years old, together swam more than 11km in aid of Marie Curie Cancer Care.

The event was organised by mum Michelle O’Brien, whose son Tyler took part in the challenge at Hemel Hempstead’s Sportspace on Saturday.

The others, who are all members of Hemel Hempstead Swimming Club, were Emily Keenan, Lucy Munroe, Mia Hobson, Ben Hubbard, Jessica Hubbard, Alice Fender and Sharone Kallinga.

They all go to St Cuthbert Mayne School and were encouraged on the day by swimming coach Alan Doyle.

Michelle said: “They worked extremely hard. They were very tired afterwards and worn out but they really wanted to do it. It wasn’t easy for them.”

The team have been pledged £650 in sponsorship and plan to present the cash to charity representatives.

The overall Swimathon and Sport Relief challenge – which was also open to members of the public – attracted more than 40 participants.

They chose between swimming 5km – or 200 lengths of a Sportspace pool – or half of that distance to raise cash for Marie Curie.

They could alternatively opt to swim a mile – 64 lengths – for the Sport Relief charities, or swim in teams.

The events were in Hemel Hempstead on Friday and Saturday, and Berkhamsted on Saturday.

Last year, they made about £3,500 for charity.

Organiser Jo Bevil-Gahan said: “My hat goes off to all the swimmers who got in there and swam for that long.”12-389