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Could be best take-up yet for Swimarathon

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PUPILS made a splash yesterday as they got what could become the biggest Swimarathon to date off the blocks.

Teddy Jehan, 12, at Elizabeth College for the start of the Skipton Swimarathon. (Picture by Steve Sarre, 22684722)

Kicking off the school’s participation at Elizabeth College were one of their 20 teams of pupils and teachers.

They were just a handful of the 3,000 people likely to take part in this year’s fundraising event, 1,000 more than last year’s record-breaking figure.

The main beneficiary this year will be Le Murier School’s Village Project.

Money raised will go towards the building of four log cabins designed to help the students learn independent living skills.

Skipton Swimarathon chairman Nick Guillemette believed the village project was the reason for the strong attendance.

‘This year we have had the best response ever,’ he said.

‘At last count we were only about 15 short of 250 teams. We haven’t done that before, which is good.

‘The Swimarathon is ever popular.

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‘I’ve been going into the schools and doing assemblies over the last few weeks, from the Grammar School through to the primary schools.

‘There has been a lot of interest from the kids generally, so we virtually have every school in the island taking part.

‘On top of that, I think the Le Murier School’s Village Project has captured people’s imagination. It’s not just a project that will be for the Le Murier school, it’s going to be for other youth groups in the island to make use of.

‘It’s a terrific project. This year is just fantastic.’

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Since the Swimarathon’s inaugural year in 1977 more than £1.3m. has been raised for Guernsey charities.

Fundraising in 2017 reached the £55,000 mark.

The figure could be much higher this year as businesses try to raise extra money through the Corporate Sponsor Awards Scheme.

‘For businesses that enter a team, we encourage them to raise more money,’ said Mr Guillemette.

‘They get a nice plaque which they can put in their reception area.’

Last year, the Swimarathon honoured local charity Grow Ltd and sponsor Skipton International with Gold Awards – both had managed to raise in excess of £1,500.

Silver awards will be given to those firms that raise more than £1,000 and bronze for those that contribute £500 or more.

n The full launch of proceedings is from 7pm tomorrow at Beau Sejour.

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