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Swimarathon will benefit Rotary’s Polio eradication campaign

Knaresborough swimmers are going to be given an opportunity to take part in the world’s biggest swim and an attempt on the Guinness World Record for the most number of people swimming 100 metres non stop between 1200 – 1300 hours on Saturday 25th February 2012.

Knaresborough Rotary Club is joining Rotary Clubs worldwide to draw attention to and raise money for the campaign to eradicate Polio. Since 1985 Rotarians around the world have been working with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and UNICEF to eradicate Polio by a programme of mass immunisation. Only four countries, India, Pakistan, Nigeria and Afghanistan still have endemic Polio although outbreaks do occur elsewhere from time to time.

For the first time it is anticipated that there will have been less than 1,000 cases of polio word wide in a single year. In 2010 there were 1,352 case but up to the 28th December 2011 only 604 cases had been recorded with only one in India all year.

More details can be found at

The Vaccine to immunise one child costs 50p, so a £1 donation will provide 2 vaccines but thanks to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Rotary’s match funding this will provide vaccines for 5 children thus saving Five Lives from Polio! A National Immunisation Day (NID) will be held in India on 19th February with Rotarians from Yorkshire travelling at their own expense to help.

The event at Knaresborough Swimming Pool on 25th February will be a high profile event attended by the Paralympic swimmer Claire Cashmore, the President of Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland Ray Burman, the Rotary District Governor for North and West Yorkshire Willie Clark and the Mayor of Knaresborough Councillor Andrew Willoughby.

The event is being sponsored by CNG (Commercial Natural Gas) and is part of an event in conjunction with the Rotary Club of Grantham.

Claire Cashmore won the BBC Midlands Young Disabled Sports Person of the Year in 2004 after winning a gold medal at the British Championships, two bronze medals at Athens, and then setting two world records. At 16 years of age, she was the youngest member of the British Paralympics swimming team. Since then, Claire has set more British records and has enjoyed success at the 2006 World Cup, winning a bronze at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics and 2 gold and 2 silver at the 2009 World Championships in Rio.

Claire was born without a left forearm and has consequently learnt how to cope with life without it. She studied Linguistics at the University of Leeds.

Those wishing to participate must be at least eight years old and able to swim 100 metres unaided.

Entry costs are £3 for those under sixteen and over 60, £5 for over sixteens and adults.

Swimmers will only swim 100 metres. For details of how to take part in the swimarathon call in at Wild Orchid in the High Street where swimmer packs and sponsorship forms are available or contact Sarah at

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