Five hundred young swimmers make a splash in marathon to name a guide dog

Five hundred young swimmers made a big splash in a ‘Swimarathon’ in a bid to buy a one-of-a-kind puppy that will be trained as a life-saving guide dog.

Monday, 27th January 2020, 5:00 pm
The 34th annual Lions Swimarathon

The 34th annual Lions Swimarathon took place at St Annes YMCA pool on Sunday.

Sixty teams from schools and youth groups across the Fylde coast took part in a full day of races to raise more than £14,000, which will be split between the Guide Dogs charity and Home-Start Fylde, Blackpool and Wyre.

Joe Woods, who organises the Swimarathon every year, said: “We started at 8am and we had six lanes running through the day, and the last swim was at 6pm, so believe me it was a long day! There was a lot of schools and disabled groups taking part.

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The 34th annual Lions Swimarathon

“We had the Guide Dogs there and we had, during the day, eight or nine different guide dogs coming in and sitting in the foyer where the children could stroke them.

“After the swim, each of the children got a goody bag. Morrisons kindly gave us 600 kitkat bars, and Foxes gave us 600 chocolate bars. We had 600 bottles of water and even 600 satsumas to give out.

“They all get a certificate which they look forward to and take home to show their parents and grandparents.

“Some children even as young as four-years-old took part.”

Medals will be given out to the swimming teams who raised the most money at a ceremony at St Cuthbert’s Church in Lytham on March 29. The money donated to the Guide Dogs will be used to name and train a new puppy.