Hundreds of swimmers take to the water this weekend to boost a fresh fund-raising bid to help save lives.
Lytham St Annes Lions are looking to set a new cash high after raising a record £10,000 at their annual Swimarathon event last year to pay for defibrillators to be placed in various Fylde schools.
This time the target is £13,000 as the Lions aim to extend the supply of the life-saving machines to the area’s primary schools – and a best-ever total of 54 sponsored teams are already down to take part.
Each team consists of eight swimmers and the teams tally could even be bettered before the event takes place at St Annes YMCA Swimming Pool on Sunday. Entries can be taken up to Saturday evening.
The Lions, who have raised £180,000 for various causes over 28 years of the Swimarathon, are looking to prevent tragedies such as the sudden death of St Annes teenager Luke Rutter, who collapsed with heart problems on a tennis court three years ago.
Lytham St Annes Technology and Performing Arts College, where Luke was a student, was among the recipients of the machines last year.
Lions spokesman Colin Holt said: “We were delighted with how last year’s event went. Now it’s the turn of primary schools and the response so far from swimmers and sponsors has been marvellous. We really hope we can reach the £13,000 target.”
All the schools set to receive the machines have entered teams.
Rachel Legge, headteacher at Clifton Primary, St Annes said: “We will have two teams of Year Six pupils involved and the children are really excited.
“It is a marvellous gesture by the Lions and we are sure the day will be a great success.
“Hopefully the defibrillator will gather dust in a corner and never be needed – but it is good to have one around just in case and this is a fun way to fund it.”
More details about the event from (01772) 679766.