Final call for Sunderland Swimathon

MAKE A SPLASH: Coun Mel Speding (back centre) is joined by fellow councillors Susan Watson, Doris MacKnight and John Scott, to shout words of encouragement to councillors Ellen Ball, Bernard Scaplehorn,  Peter Gibson and ahead of swimathon at the Sunderland Aquatic Centre.

MAKE A SPLASH: Coun Mel Speding (back centre) is joined by fellow councillors Susan Watson, Doris MacKnight and John Scott, to shout words of encouragement to councillors Ellen Ball, Bernard Scaplehorn, Peter Gibson and ahead of swimathon at the Sunderland Aquatic Centre.

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SWIMMERS have just days left to take the plunge at a 24-hour endurance event.

Entries have been flooding in for the swimathon at the Sunderland Aquatic Centre, with teams of up to six people signing up to take to the water in a relay of 25m lengths for one hour.

The event, which starts at noon on Friday, March 23, is part of the Sunderland in 2012 programme, designed to celebrate the London Olympic and Paralympic Games.

It includes a variety of sporting, arts and cultural events and opportunities to take part, by either doing, watching or supporting through volunteering in Sunderland in 2012.

The deadline to hand in completed registrations is 5pm this Friday.

Councillor Mel Speding, cabinet secretary for the city council, said: “There’s not long to go now until the event and it is really important for people to hand in their completed registrations as soon as possible because the deadline is looming.

“We have teams of all ages and backgrounds, from triathletes to supermarket staff taking part and that’s because it really is an event which everyone can join.

“As long as you can swim 25m unaided, you can take part.

“It will be a great atmosphere and it’s something we can enjoy with family or friends at a minimal cost.”

The swimathon costs just £2 per person to enter and spectators can support for free.

Teams have the choice of the hour they wish to swim, so whether they are night owls or early birds, there is something for everyone.

They can also use the event as an opportunity to raise money for their own chosen charities if they wish.

For full information on the Swimathon and the Sunderland in 2012 programme, visit www.sunderlandin2012.co.uk, email: sunderlandin2012@sunderland.gov.uk or call 561 4659.

Twitter: @SunderlandEcho

THERE are three different ways for people to be part of Sunderland in 2012.

They can enter and register their interest for a number of activities.

Events and activities are being added to the programme all the time. The latest information and details on how to register to take part are available at www.sunderlandin2012.co.uk.

People can also support as many of the events as they want by becoming a Sunderland in 2012 volunteer. Residents are encouraged to register their intention to become a volunteer Details of how to do this are also on the website at www.sunderlandin2012.co.uk.

Among the events taking place as part of Sunderland in 2012 is a celebration event to coincide with the Olympic Torch relay travelling through the city.

This takes place on Saturday, June 16, at Herrington Country Park, which is also when a world record attempt will take place.

Full details about both events will be announced in due course.