Dive in and raise funds for 2012 Swimathon

Ben Chudley''Ben Chudley warming up for his double event

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Local swimmers will be able to make a big splash for charity and get some exercise at the same time.

Many pools have signed up to take part in the annual Swimathon weekend in April, including the Mountbatten Centre in Portsmouth, Holbrook Leisure Centre in Gosport, Fareham Leisure Centre and Taro Leisure Centre in Petersfield.

Now in its 25th year, the event encourages people to take part in sponsored swims to raise money for Marie Curie Cancer Care.

And now swimmers will also be able to take part in the Big Splash Mile on the same weekend in aid of Sport Relief.

This year’s Swimathon takes place over the weekend of April 27-29.

Those who want to take part are being urged to register now.

Swimathon president and Olympic gold medallist, Duncan Goodhew, says: ‘We all know that sports such as swimming will enjoy their time in the limelight this year, but 2012 is also our 25th anniversary year.

‘We’d love to add to the 500,000 people who have taken part in the event so far, to dive into pools up and down the country.

‘These amazing people have raised more than £34m for charity to date and by teaming up with the Big Splash we’re aiming to raise record amounts for not one but two important charities.’

Individual swimmers can sign up to complete a 5k or 2.5k sponsored swim.

And money raised during the Swimathon will go to fund Marie Curie nurses who work through the night to care for the terminally ill and their families.

To register for this year’s event, or to find out more, log on to swimathon.org.