Twenty teams have now signed up for this year’s Swimathon, which is just three weeks away.

And the latest entrants in the charity event organised by Accrington Rotary Club in partnership with the Observer, are determined to prove that age is no barrier.

With an average age of 60, team leader Linda Bracewell admits the Baxenden Babes team from the Baxenden Pharmacy will not be threatening the 192-length record set by Pioneer’ 79 last year.

Linda, 52, who owns the pharmacy in Manchester Road, said: “We want to give it a go and we would love to do about 40 lengths but I think the Pioneers record is safe.

“In the Baxenden Babes there is myself and two other pharmacy girls and then there is our delivery driver and a pharmacist.

“Our driver Bert is the secret weapon, he will give it a good go!”

Linda hopes the Babes can raise a few hundred pounds for Macmillan by taking part.

She said: “We have been so busy in recent years. Because the pharmacy has also become a post office we haven’t had time to do the Macmillan coffee mornings. I thought the Swimathon would be a good way for us to raise money for them.”

Mark Schofield, of Accrington Rotary Club, was delighted with the public reaction to this year’s event and has thanked those who have signed up so far.

He said: “It is very promising and I am quite confident that we can match last year’s event.”

Teams consist of five members and each team swims for a total of 50 minutes. Each team can donate its sponsorship proceeds to the rotary club, the Observer’s nominated charity the Finley’s Friends Appeal, or its own preferred charity.

The Finley’s Friends Appeal aims to raise money in support of the work at Holly House Child Development Centre in Accrington.

We are hoping to raise £20,000 to say thank you to the centre which helped Finley Rosbotham learn how to walk.

Finley’s mum Kelly encouraged people to sign up to the Swimathon and raise money for the appeal.

She said: “Holly House need all the help they can get. Even though Finley’s not there any more they will always be a part of our lives and he wouldn’t be who he is without them.”

The event takes place on Sunday, November 24 at Accrington Academy. Admission is £20 per team. To sign up contact Mark on 01254 232521 or e-mail