AMBITIOUS pub-goers are making a splash with a pier-to-pier swim challenge for Blue Day.
Regulars and workers at The Festing in Southsea will take to the water in wetsuits and swim the 1.6-mile distance from Clarence Pier to South Parade Pier to raise cash for the Tom Prince Cancer Trust.
There will be 37 brave swimmers taking part in the sponsored event on August 28, three of whom were Tom’s school friends – Harry Yard, Luke Threadingham and Callum Smith.
Those taking part will be joined by another regular, Michael McCormick, who will walk the pier-to-pier distance in an old diver’s suit because he cannot swim.
The group has already raised £2,000 for the cause through donations from individuals and businesses and members hope to generate around £10,000 in total.
Pub landlord Matt Chapman, 27, who organised the swimathon, said: ‘Every year Blue Day gets bigger and better and this year we wanted to challenge ourselves with something we have to put a lot of effort into.
‘We’re not the fittest group of people – I run a pub and they drink in one, so we’ve been doing a lot of training down at the Mountbatten Centre and once the weather gets a bit warmer we are going to try training in the sea.
‘Blue Day is so personal to Portsmouth and the people who drink in the pub, so it’s nice to get together and do something to raise as much money as we can’
On Friday’s Blue Day the pub will be decorated in blue and host a raffle in aid of the day, with prizes including two return ferry tickets to the Isle of Wight and possibly a signed Pompey shirt.
This is the fifth Blue Day held in aid of the Tom Prince Cancer Trust – a local charity run by the family of the teenager who died from bone cancer osteosarcoma the day before his 16th birthday.
The Prince family hope to raise £1m through the trust to fund research into the disease and have generated £580,000 so far – £150,000 from the previous four Blue Days.
There’s still plenty of time to get involved with our blue bonanza; simply register your event at tomprince.co.uk.
Don’t forget you can download the official Blue Day theme song at portsmouth.co.uk.