ENTRIES are coming in for the 25th annual Swimathon run by Soroptomist International of Taunton – and the County Gazette is helping organisers to celebrate.

First staged in 1989, the event has helped thousands of swimmers to raise more than £525,000 for good causes in the Taunton area.

Among Swimathon’s main beneficiaries have been St Margaret’s Hospice, Somerset ESCAPE and Taunton Women’s Refuge.

The event was the brainchild of Soroptomist Jeanette Keech and the first event attracted more than 80 teams over the weekend of February 4/5, 1989.

County Gazette editor Alex Cameron said: “We are delighted to be able to help the organisers of the popular Swimathon celebrate 25 wonderful years of fundraising.

“We have delved into our archives to find some wonderful photographs from down the years and we will be sharing these with our readers in the coming weeks.”

In the meantime, entries are now invited for this year’s anniversary event, which takes place over the weekend of February 9/10.

It may be 25 years on but the rules remain the same:

  • It doesn’t matter what your standard of swimming is to take part
  • Teams of six pay a team entry fee of £7.50 to swim for 53 minutes
  • Swimmers must be aged at least eight on the day of the event
  • Teams are responsible for raising sponsorship to be shared between charities.

This year’s chosen charities are St Margaret’s Somerset Hospice, Friends of Somerset Young Carers Project, Taunton Opportunity Group and National Blind Children’s Society.

To enter a team please call 01823-423187 or email teddycat9989@yahoo.co.uk