Gail Porter in her swimsuit for Swimathon 2011

SWIMMERS in Great Dunmow will make a splash for charity on the weekend of Saturday April 9 and 10 as they take part in the Swimathon 2011 challenge.

The event, at Great Dunmow Leisure Centre, helps to raise money for Marie Curie Cancer Care and the Swimathon Foundation and Dunmow is one of over 580 pools taking part nationwide.

It is estimated that between that around 22,000 swimmers will raise more than �2million to help support Marie Curie Nurses who provide free nursing care to people with terminal cancer and other terminal illnesses, in the place of their choice.

Business manager at Great Dunmow Leisure Centre, David Burnham said: “It is fantastic as it brings our community together as they raise money for charity, and provides them with a great challenge.

“Last year we raised over �5500 and will try to raise the same again this year. The Swimathon is well supported by our members and the weekend is always a fun event and enjoyed by both staff and customers.”

TV and radio celebrity Gail Porter who has suffered cancer herself is helping to launch the initiative: “Launching Swimathon this year gives me huge pleasure. The challenge is ideal motivation for everyone to pull on their swimsuits, get in the pool and enjoy a much-needed New Year health boost.

“I find swimming a great way to keep fit, especially as it’s an activity I enjoy with my child. Going down to your local pool and getting them used to being in the water is just the start of the fun. Once my daughter was up and paddling, there was no stopping us.

Most Read

“What’s more - the money raised will help Marie Curie Cancer Care to provide free nursing care to terminally ill people. I know what a difference this care can make as both my mum and my grandmother died from cancer and received care at home from a Marie Curie Nurse.

“Caring for a loved one at the end of their life is never going to be an easy time for families but it was made much more bearable for us by the skill and care of these amazing nurses.”

Individual and team entries to Swimathon 2011 are open until April 6 2011. To enter go online to or call 0845 36 700 36.

If you are taking part – let us know how much you raise and how you get on. Send in your pictures and reports to