Charities to benefit from Bantham Swoosh swim

A charity which gives free swimming lessons to children with disabilities could benefit to the tune of around £20,000 from the Bantham Swoosh outdoor swim in the South Hams on June 24th.

The Swoosh takes its name from the tidal surge towards the end, which can carry swimmers along at up to four times their usual speed.The event, organised by the Outdoor Swimming Society, is gaining cult status and this year a total of 800 people will be taking part in the two 6km swims at dawn and dusk, from Aveton Gifford to Bantham beach.

Many of the swimmers will be raising money for charity.

Level Water, which teaches swimming to children with disabilities in Plymouth and across the UK, has 94 people taking part in the Swoosh. Each of them is aiming to raise around £200, with some doing both the morning and evening swims.

Spokeswoman Colette McCarthy said, “We are very excited about the Swoosh! We’re so grateful that we can work with the OSS on the swim, it is an amazing opportunity.

“We have a few swimmers from the South Hams, with more from the wider Devon area, then London, Oxford, Coventry, Guernsey and as far up the country as North Yorkshire and Cumbria.

“Some had already come close to their fundraising target of £200 at the beginning of June – and some are set to fly over it.

“We currently have two children learning from the South Hams. Our lessons are based at the Plymouth Life Centre so a lot of the children are from the immediate surrounding area.”

Another organisation set to benefit is the Brain Cancer Research Trust. Twenty swimmers will be fundraising for dedicated research into this disease by Plymouth University. They will be remembering Lynne Roper, one of the Outdoor Swimming Society’s most active members, who died of a brain tumour last year.

Six swimmers have been given free places on the Swoosh to raise money for the Aveton Gifford Community Pool, which also received donations last year.

Among the other fundraisers are Ashburton couple Juliet and Jon Stubbington who aim to raise £200 for the Plymouth-based Chestnut Appeal for prostate cancer.

Will Sheaff, events organiser for the Outdoor Swimming Society, said, “We’re really pleased that so many people are using this fantastic event to benefit charities, as well as enjoying the Swoosh challenge and the fun and camaraderie of the swim.”

The dawn swimmers will be arriving at 4.30am to watch the sun rise from Bantham Beach, while the dusk swimmers will enter the water a few hours before dark and arrive at the beach as the sun sets.

For more information on The Swoosh and The Outdoor Swimming Society please visit www.outdoorswimmingsociety.com and for more information on Bantham Beach and Estate please go to www.banthamdevon.co.uk