Swimarathon cash pays off

Eileen Skelly from Lytham St Annes Lions, Peter Lewis, screening manager, Sheila Pitt, ECG physiologist and Lynsey Forsythe,  echo technician, with Nick Hare-Churchill

Eileen Skelly from Lytham St Annes Lions, Peter Lewis, screening manager, Sheila Pitt, ECG physiologist and Lynsey Forsythe, echo technician, with Nick Hare-Churchill

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More than 200 Fylde young people were given health screenings by the CRY (Cardiac Risk In The Young) charity thanks to the latest fund-raising efforts of Lytham St Annes Lions.

A weekend of screening sessions, held at Lytham St Annes Technology and Performing Arts College for the second year running, again proved a big success after the Lions raised £15,000 at this year’s 30th annual swimarathon.

The cash raised by a record number of swimmers has paid for the screenings as well as visits to primary school classrooms by health experts from the charity Heartbeat to talk to youngsters about healthy lifestyles.

The Lions, who in recent years have raised cash for defibrillators to be placed in local schools and other public buildings, have been delighted with the response to their life-saving initiative and a spokesman said: “The two days of screenings were very successful. The CRY specialists who came up this weekend are volunteers with a passionate interest in what they do.

“It was interesting to note that more than 30 of those who registered for screening were over the age cut off of 18 which applied last year and which demonstrates that our decision to raise the upper age limit to 34 - in common with CRY’s general age range – has been well received.

“We were delighted with the success of the swimarathon and are so grateful to everyone who took part and the sponsors.

“The screening slots available over the two days were all taken up in advance and that shows what a vital service is being provided by CRY.”

CRY was founded in 1995 by Alison Cox after her son Steve was diagnosed with a heart condition at just 18.

He was successfully treated, went on to become CRY’s director of screening and deputy chief executive.

When the Lions, eager to prevent tragedies such as the sudden death of Lytham St Annes Technology and Performing Arts College student Luke Rutter, who died suddently on a tennis court in 2010, announced they were raising cash at the swimarathon for screenings, chief executive Alison said: “On behalf of all of us at CRY, a huge thank you to Lytham St Annes Lions for choosing us as a beneficiary and for recognising the importance of cardiac screening.”

The Lions will announce later this year the charity beneficiary of the 2017 swimarathon.