More than 100 swimmers turned up at the Arena Leisure Centre, Camberley on Saturday March 1st 2014 for the Camberley Sponsored Swim. The early start time of 5:30 pm has helped to increase the popularity of this event. Over 70 miles was swum for the British Heart Foundation (BHF) and the forecast income will be about £9900, a fantastic sum for an event of this kind.
This event has been running for many years, but the last 3 events will have raised over £30000 for the charity.
BHF Community Fundraising Manager Heather Hunt says “I’m sure it must be one of the most successful – if not the no.1 local swim for the BHF in terms of participant numbers and income raised. It’s always great to see so many swimmers, and a large number of BHF local volunteers enjoying themselves, raising vital funds in the fight against heart disease, in Camberley Heart Town. None of this would be possible without the considerable efforts and dedication of Nigel Tottman, leader of the local BHF fundraising group”.
The age of the swimmers range from 4 to 66 which shows that this is a family event, but it also owes its great success to the tremendous support it receives from the Arena Leisure Centre, local schools like Crawley Ridge, Lyndhurst, Hammond, Hawley Place and many others, and to the very loyal support the organiser Nigel Tottman receives from the Camberley BHF Supporters Group. For a successful event it needs between 30 and 40 volunteers.
The youngest swimmer was 4-year-old Rosanna Ogden, also known as the Miracle Swimmer. This is the third time she has swum in this event and this year she completed 16 lengths. Truly amazing! She even travels from Chorley in Lancashire to swim in this event.
The money raised from an event like this will be used by the BHF primarily to fund life-saving research, though the BHF also funds and supports training for specialist heart nurses, one of whom is based at Frimley Park Hospital. Defibrillators were funded and have been in place in The Mall, Camberley, for the past 7 years. A Heartstart team provides regular free CPR courses at Surrey heath House once a month.
If you are interested in joining in the fun next year, The BHF’s Camberley Sponsored Swim event it is scheduled for 7th March 2015. Look out for further details towards the end of this year.