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Paralympic gold medallist calls on Scots to swim for charity

This news post is almost 2 years old

Bethany Firth is backing this year’s Swimathon to raise money for Cancer Research UK and Marie Curie.

Paralympic swimmer and gold medallist Bethany Firth is calling on people across Scotland to take the plunge and sign up for Swimathon 2020.

Bethany is backing the annual fundraiser which raises money for two charities, Cancer Research UK and Marie Curie. The athlete is urging people of all ages and abilities to take part in the sponsored event which will be held in swimming pools across Scotland and the UK this spring.

Bethany clinched three gold medals at the Rio 2016 Paralympics and one gold at the London 2012 Paralympics. Currently training for the Tokyo Paralympics this August, she took time out to support Swimathon, inspired by her mother, Lindsey Firth, who is recovering from thyroid cancer.

Bethany said: “It was a terrible shock when mum was diagnosed with cancer in 2018. She has been such a source of strength and support for me throughout my life and career. It was a very difficult time but thankfully her treatment was successful and I’m so grateful that she’s getting back to full health.

“My mum’s experience means our family understand all too clearly why events such as Swimathon are so vital to support the work of charities like Cancer Research UK and Marie Curie.”

Bethany is keen to emphasise participants don’t need to be a world-class swimmer to take part in the fundraiser.

She said: “Swimathon is such a fun and simple way to encourage people to dip their toe in the water and get swimming - all while supporting two incredible charities. It really doesn’t matter if you’re not the fittest or the fastest. I hope swimmers young and old, new and experienced will dive in and help thousands of families affected by cancer.”

Swimmers can choose a variety of distances, from 400m up to the Triple 5k, and can participate as individuals or as part of a team. Anyone who is unable to take part during the big Swimathon weekend of March 27-29 can sign up to MySwimathon, which takes place from March 20 to April 5, and choose a time and venue that suits them.

Swimathon is the world’s biggest annual swimming fundraiser, and has raised more than £52 million for charities since it began in 1986. Organisers hope that in this Olympic year, participants will help to make 2020 a Swimathon record breaker by raising more than £2.2m for Cancer Research UK and Marie Curie.

Lisa Adams, Cancer Research UK spokeswoman for Scotland, said: “Whether you’re a champion swimmer or prefer to stick to the shallow end, there’s a Swimathon challenge for all – we hope everyone will grab their caps and costumes and sign up now.

“There are lots of great benefits to taking part, not least the chance to enjoy the water while raising money for causes which are close to the hearts of so many. Each length participants swim will help make a difference to people affected by cancer.”



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