Gongratulations to Len, Maria and everyone at the pool involved in the Swimathon which raised a huge sum. Stradbroke was ranked 2nd in the UK out of a total of 604 pools! Read Len's story:

NATIONAL SWIMATHON SUCCESS

FOR STRADBROKE SWIM & FITNESS CENTRE

Stradbroke Swim & Fitness Centre has claimed Swimathon stardom amongst the 604 pools throughout the UK that took part. The long established yearly Swimathon raises money for charity, which this year was for Marie Curie Cancer Care, by individuals and teams taking on a swim challenge………It is the world’s biggest fund raising swim.

Stradbroke organisers Maria Smith, Len Phoenix and the centre’s huge group of 191 swimmers were ecstatic when in Sundays final session (9 in all) Swimathon HQ confirmed the pool was ranked in SECOND UK POSITION and first regionally. The Stradbroke centre is a microdot compared to the large city/town complexes, BUT its colossal team appetite and enthusiasm persuaded a large and varied group of swimmers to “Take on the Challenge” and live up to SLM site’s motto of “Everyone Active”. The result is amazing. Our small North Suffolk centre is a top NATIONAL ACHIEVER.

The swimmers taking part encompassed an enormous and various group of participants. It ranged from 2 year old Matthew Whatling from the pool’s toddler group, heading out a team of  adult learners including his grandmother, with a one length swim; to 71 year old George Knapp, a weekly pool user, who is paralysed from the chest down with his team of carers amassing an incredible 170 lengths for their Swimathon challenge. The pool’s nine sessions also included a Saturday group of 35 youngsters ranging from 6 to 12 year olds from the centre’s successful swim school and swim club sessions. Many of these youngsters massively exceeded expectation with some outstanding swims, such as organiser Len’s 10 year old grand-daughter Annalise Smith and Henri Gooch having entered 1.5k carried on to complete a fantastic 5k swim. The youngest swimmer was 6 year old Ella Townsend who easily nailed a 1.5k swim while the more experienced swim club member 12 year old George Tooley completed a 5k swim in an amazing 1hr 27min in all this session produced countless achievements that just simply astounded parents, family members and organisers/Instructors.

This Stradbroke phenomenal swim also included 5 sessions from Tuesday to Friday evening that accommodated the pool’s popular Swimfit swimmers and other regular pool users, most of who completed the 5k challenge. Fastest males were Mark Nowell & Angus Western both 1hr 17mins and fastest female Julia Green – 1hr 23mins, in a close contest with an amazing swim from organiser Maria Smith – 1hr 24mins to complete her 19th consecutive Swimathon. Finally veteran organiser and Swimathoner Len Phoenix notched up his 26th swim.

Sunday completed this colossal Stradbroke effort with an extravaganza of 20 teams taking part in highly charged and exciting carnival atmosphere. Organisers Maria and Len summed this biggest ever 21st Stradboke Swimathon as “ a huge team effort that has bought together a large number of the centre users producing countless and amazing achievement. We are also sure it will raise incredible amount money for Marie Curie Cancer Trust” Finally a big thank you to SLM who run the centre, for backing and supporting this event. They too are blown away with Stradbroke’s result. The overall result is just simply “SWIMTASTIC”   

Total amount raised so far is £8400 with total increasing daily!

Len Phoenix (Swim Coach)