A swimming club is hoping to smash a national record at this year’s Swimathon.
Pioneer 79 have set their sights on completing a breathtaking 200 lengths in 50 minutes at the charity event organised by Accrington Rotary Club in partnership with the Observer.
Due to a timing miscalculation last year, the team ended up four lengths short of the 196-length national record.
Stuart Rogan, Pioneer 79 vice-chair, was confident the club team would not make the same mistake this time round.
He said: “Last year we thought that the record was 186 lengths, so we worked out the speed we had to go in order to beat that.
“We finished with 192 lengths, which was great, but we found out the record was 196.
“We were a bit disappointed but we are coming back stronger this year, we want to get 200 or at least beat the record.
“The guys in the senior team are training for 16 hours a week, in that time they are covering around 25 miles.”
The club is entering three teams, two junior and one senior, and is aiming to raise more than £1,000 for charity.
Stuart said: “Each team member will pick a charity and we will hopefully collectively raise over £1,000 and then divide it.”
Pioneer 79 swimming club trains regularly at Accrington Academy and recently welcomed its 500th member. Beginners through to those wanting to compete at a national level are encouraged to join.
Mark Schofield, of the Accrington Rotary Club, has now had six teams sign up to the Swimathon which takes place on Sunday, November 24 at Accrington Academy.
He said: “I am delighted with the response to this year’s event.
“I feel we are in a better position than we were last year. As we move closer to the deadline I am sure we will get more people signing up.
“Last year we had 100 per cent positive feedback. You don’t have to be particularly good at swimming it is just a great day out to raise money for a good cause.”
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.
Admission is £20 per team. To sign up contact Mark on 01254 232521 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.