Printed Date: 21/05/2024

GLL helps world’s biggest fundraising swim reach £50m milestone


GLL pools are celebrating shared success with Swimathon – the world’s biggest charity swim.

Since its start in 1987, Swimathon has raised a total of £50m for 36 good causes – including £2m this year alone for Marie Curie and Cancer Research UK. This year’s figure is up 7% on the previous year.

GLL – the UK's largest leisure charitable social enterprise (celebrating 25 years this year) – operates under the 'Better' brand. Better registered 101 of its 140 pools for Swimathon participants this year – up 25% on the previous year.

Expanding the number of pools taking part led to a huge increase in swimmers engaged (3301) – up 100%

With some donations still to be collected, the current fundraising total from GLL operated pools stands at £224,851.00.

GLL's Emma Lewis, Senior Aquatics Manager said:

"GLL are proud supporters of the annual Swimathon event through its Better branded pools. Swimathon brings together swimmers and fundraisers to support very worthy causes and challenge themselves in the pool.

"Swimming is a life long participation sport and taking part in Swimathon encourages many people either to get back in the water or to swim more regularly. It is a social environment that brings families and friends together in the pool, helping them to raise money for charity and improve their physical fitness in the process.

"GLL will continue to offer this event and work in partnership with Swimathon to improve the swimmer experience and increase the fundraising totals. Our staff teams enjoy the occasion and have been busy both delivering the event and taking part in the swimming challenge. Well done to all our customers and staff who took part."

Swimmers flocked to Olympic legacy venue the London Aquatic Centre and other venues up and down the country – attendances a testament to the enduring popularity of the event and the personal stories of those taking part. Among these was Swimathon's top fundraiser, Darren Cainey, who was diagnosed with lung cancer 4 years ago, and has since raised £5,100. His son cheered him on as he completed 5k in the water in just over 2 hours.

Darren said: “The support I've had has been overwhelming. I’m looking forward to coming back for next year’s Swimathon!”

Acknowledging everyone involved, Swimathon President and Olympic gold medallist Duncan Goodhew said: “At such a significant time in Swimathon’s history it is important to take time to reflect. Remembering the communities we have supported, the charities that have made a difference to the people they support and the swimmers who have made life-long change to their health and wellbeing.”

Full details about Swimathon can be found at