Record-breaking aim as scheme looks to help Lytham and St Annes pupils

Lining up for the start of the LSA Lions Swimarathon at St Annes YMCA Pool

Lining up for the start of the LSA Lions Swimarathon at St Annes YMCA Pool

0
Have your say

Every primary school pupil in Lytham and St Annes will receive healthy lifestyle advice as part of a new scheme.

Volunteers want help to break a fund-raising record as they step up their bid to save young lives.

As well as it being beneficial to do the right thing in terms of diet and exercise from an early age, children are very receptive to what they hear and hopefully the advice will stick with them into adulthood

Lytham St Annes Lions are hoping to generate a biggest-ever total £15,000 at their next annual swimarathon event as they target twin charity objectives – including healthy heart advice in the classroom for every local primary school pupil.

A combined amount of more than £30,000 raised at the Lions’ last three swimarathons has in turn funded defibrillator machines for every school in Fylde and heart screenings held earlier this year for more than 200 young people via the charity CRY (Cardiac Risk In the Young).

The screenings proved so effective - with places eagerly snapped up and around 30 of those screened referred to their GP – that the Lions want to repeat the exercise.

But they are also looking to raise enough to send a representative from the Preston-based heart charity Heartbeat into every local primary school to stress the importance of healthy lifestyles.

To achieve both objectives, they have set the £15,000 target, which would be a record amount for a single swimarathon.

The Lions’ swimarathon, held every January, has been boosting charities since the 1980s and the 2015 event featured a record number of 54 teams, consisting of eight swimmers each.

Date for the next swimarathon is Sunday, January 31, 2016 - and the Lions want to hear from teams and sponsors to help them reach their cash target.

Lions spokesman Colin Holt said: “The response in recent years has been wonderful and we are delighted with what the publi dflidaf sdxkfsdfkjc’s backing has helped us achieve.

“But we want to keep the momentum going and continue to do everything we can to save young lives.

“We want to do more CRY screenings and we also want to be able to send Heartbeat into primary school classrooms. It is important that the healthy living message gets across to youngsters as early as possible and we hope everyone will rally round and help us reach the £15,000 target.”

The Lions’ efforts came in for glowing praise from headteacher Rachel Legge of Clifton Primary School, St Annes, who said parents and staff were already rallying round in a bid to enter a team of adults in the swimarathon for the first time.

“The event has just got bigger and bigger in recent years and the teams of pupils which have taken part have really enjoyed it,” she said.

“We are looking to put in a team of adults and it really deserves all the backing we can give it, as the Lions are doing a great job.

“The donation of the defibrillator and the training in its use for staff was very welcome indeed and anyone coming into school and adding to the vital message we advocate about healthy lifestyles through the National Curriculum would be very welcome.”

Heartbeat, founded in 1978 by Preston couple Keith and Rose Redman who lost their teenage daughter to heart disease, is a heart charity which works with 700 patients every week at various sites around Lancashire.

It also works hard at spreading the word about healthy lifestyles and its health development manager Sian Percival-Edwards said: “We conducted healthy heart workshops for around 4,000 children across Lancashire last year and it really is important to get across the message about healthy lifestyles and looking after you heart as early as possible.

“As well as it being beneficial to do the right thing in terms of diet and exercise from an early age, children are very receptive to what they hear and hopefully the advice will stick with them into adulthood.

“The aim is to have a whole day with all the pupils in each school.

“The Lions are a fantastic group, who are always thinking about the next thing which can be done to help the next generation.

“I hope the swimarathon is a really big success.”

Details about taking part in the swimarathon or getting involved in sponsorship from Joe Woods on (01772) 679766.