Over 21,000 swimmers took to the water helping to raise £1.8m for Cancer Research UK and Marie Curie.

Over £1.8 million in fundraising was raised by the Sunday of the event weekend by swimmers participating across the UK, who had chosen either individual challenges of 400m, 1.5k, 2.5k, 5k or Triple 5k, or team distances of 1.5k or 5k.

The nationwide format of Swimathon started in 1988 and since then over 700,000 participants have dived into more than 1,000 pools across the UK and have up to this point, raised over £51 million for different charities.

With more than 21,000 swimmers taking to pools around the UK for Swimathon this year, the event has seen an incredible increase of over 1,000 swimmers compared to Swimathon 2018. The introduction of a 400m and Triple 5K challenge in recent years has made Swimathon an accessible challenge for all, which has driven increased participation.

Olympic gold-medallist and Swimathon President Duncan Goodhew said: “It has been a real joy to see Swimathon develop into the great event that it is today and raise so much money for so many worthwhile charities. Swimathon really gives people a chance to get active with friends and family, whilst doing some greater good at the same time. I am so proud that Swimathon gives so many people their first chance to enjoy the water.”

In keeping with Swimathon’s swim for all mentality , this year saw a wide variety of Swimathon Ambasadors from all over the UK participating including Wanda Stockdale and Tamsyn Smith, while new recruits such as the youngest ever Ambassador, Paige Gallagher (14), also hit the water achieving the incredible Triple 5k.

Returning swimmer Wanda once again personified the swim for all mentality stepping up from last year’s 5k swim to tackle the brand new Triple 5k challenge. She proved that even with disabilities you can still achieve greatness in the water.

Marie Curie is the UK’s leading charity for people with any terminal illness. The charity helps people living with a terminal illness and their families make the most of the time they have together by providing hands-on nursing care and expert hospice care, emotional support, research and guidance to improve the way care is provided in the UK. Last year, Marie Curie cared for and supported over 50,000 people affected by terminal illnesses across the UK.

Cancer Research UK is the world’s leading charity dedicated to to saving lives through research. It supports the work of scientists, doctors and nurses who are dedicated to beating cancer by understanding its causes and finding new ways to diagnose, treat and prevent the disease.

Mark Winton, Head of Community Fundraising at Marie Curie, said: “I’d like to say a massive thank you to all of the 21,000 swimmers who went to great lengths during this year’s Swimathon. We’re absolutely delighted that £1.8m has been raised so far, which will help Marie Curie to provide care and support to more people living with any terminal illness and their families.”

Cancer Research UK’s Head of Events and Sports, Emma Hyatt, said: “I’d like to offer a huge congratulations and a massive thank you to all the 21,000 swimmers who took on the challenge at this year’s Swimathon. It is a privilege for Cancer Research UK to partner with such a special event and we are amazed by all the hard work that has gone in to fundraising the £1.8m so far, which will help to fund lifesaving research and help bring forward the day when all cancers can be cured.”

For the past six years, Swimathon has been partnered by Zoggs, whose goggles, swimsuits, learning aids and training accessories have helped millions of swimmers across the world learn to love swimming.