Lytham St Annes Lions' biggest fund-raiser called off for second year

Lytham St Annes Lions’ Swimarathon has been called off for a second year.

Tuesday, 19th October 2021, 12:30 pm

The organisation’s biggest annual fund-raiser, traditionally held at St Annes YMCA Pool every January and with a history going back some 35 years, was called off because of the pandemic this year and now the 2022 event has followed suit.

Lions officials say Covid infection rates are the key factor and that they made the decision now because it is such a major fundraiser and requires such preparatory work to make it the success it has always been.

A Lions spokesman said: “A decision could not be held off any longer as to whether the club should review the current situation re Covid, which just as in 2021 is the major influence affecting the swim returning in 2022.

Swimmers at the most recent Lytham St Annes Lions Swimarathon in January 2020

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Lytham St Annes Lions swim fund-raiser 2021 already off

Swim organiser Joe Woods added: “This is another disappointment for me and the whole club, but the safety of swimmers and spectators has to be paramount in such a venture, and the swimmers themselves have to be taken care of.”

More than 500 swimmers, many of them youngsters, took part in the Swimarathon when it was last held in 2020 and raised £14,000, the majority of which was donated to the Blackpool, Wyre and Fylde Guide Dogs for the Blind, while Home-Start Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre also benefited.

Over the years, the event has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for a variety of causes.

Club president John Lashmar said how much the club appreciates all the past and present support for the event and would like to hear from anyone who would like to learn more about Lions’ service work in the community. Contact can be made on 01253-738165.

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