Swimathon 2015: Let’s remember why we’re doing this!

Today is the launch of this year’s Swimathon campaign. For those of you who read my first blog, you’ll have seen that my training for this year’s challenge is well and truly underway. But I thought I’d take this opportunity to talk not about my training, but why I, and thousands of others, will be taking to the pool this year.

To give you a bit of background, between 2007 and 2013 thousands of swimmers have raised over £9 million for Marie Curie, which is such a humbling figure. To put it into perspective, that equates to over 450,000 hours of nursing care for people living with a terminal illness. After a year away, we want to make this year’s Swimathon the biggest and best yet. I'm taking on the 5K challenge, but there is an option for everyone – the 2.5 or 1.5k individual or 1.5 or 5k team challenge. And with over 600 pools across the county taking part, there’s bound to be a Swimathon happening near you.

Three generations of Swimathon heroes

Colin prepares for Swimathon with his grandchildren


Meet Colin, aka Grandpa. Like me Colin is rising to the challenge and will be taking to the pool for this year’s Swimathon. But unlike me, Colin is 79 and has been taking part since 2001. In 2008 Colin’s wife was diagnosed with cancer and since then the event has grown in significance, with three generations of his family taking on the challenge and raising money for Marie Curie.

“Each Monday I try to have a swim and keep fit and sometimes I am accompanied by my wife who sits at the pool edge. School holidays are when I can include my grandsons who, apart from young Oliver, can outstrip me when swimming.”

Swimathon has become an important day in the year for Colin and the rest of his family. He takes an optimistic approach when dealing with his wife's illness, with his ethos being to ‘press on’. Taking on the challenge of Swimathon is very much part of this ethos.

“I have reminded our grandsons when they are doing the Marie Curie Swimathon that, when the going gets tough and they become tired, to think of Grandma and all the other cancer patients and the battle with such diseases and 'press on'.”

Swimathon will take place from Friday 17 to Sunday 19 April at over 600 pools across the country.  Why not join Colin and take on a Swimathon Challenge and raise funds for Marie Curie – enter at Swimathon.org today!


Ben Wicks, Media and PR Manager

Ben Wicks Media & PR Manager Ben Wicks, one of Marie Curie’s Media & PR Managers, is taking on the world’s biggest fundraising swim event, Swimathon. In the run up to the challenge Ben will be telling his story, documenting all the aches and pains of training and explaining why he is raising money for Marie Curie.