Olympic gold medallist Duncan Goodhew is urging swimmers across Essex to sign up for Swimathon 2023.

The event is taking place at pools across the county from May 12 to May 14, including Great Dunmow Leisure Centre, Halstead Leisure Centre and Blackwater Leisure Centre in Maldon.

Sponsorship from the event will raise money for Cancer Research UK and the end of life charity Marie Curie.

There are a variety of distances to choose from - from 400m up to 30.9k - and swimmers of any age and experience are invited to take part, either individually or as part of a team.

Duncan Goodhew, who won a gold medal for the 100m breaststroke at the 1980 Moscow Games, said: "It’s a truly inclusive event, with so many ways to take part for every level of swimmer.

"You don’t need to be the fittest or the fastest. You just need to try your best and enjoy yourself, whilst fundraising for two important charities who need our support.

Dunmow Broadcast: The Swimathon will raise money for Cancer Research UK and Marie CurieThe Swimathon will raise money for Cancer Research UK and Marie Curie (Image: Cancer Research UK)

"So, I’m urging people to sign up now, head down to the pool and see how swimming can change their lives – as well as benefitting others."

Any swimmers who cannot make one of the organised sessions can sign up to 'MySwimathon', taking place from April 28 to May 21, and choose a time and venue that suits them.

Michael Jarvis, Cancer Research UK's spokesperson for Essex, said: "Swimathon is such a great way to encourage people to dip their toe in the water and get swimming.


"There’s no greater motivation for taking part than helping to support causes close to the hearts of so many.

"That’s why we’re urging swimmers to grab their caps and costumes, raise money and help us to keep making new discoveries and breakthroughs."

With rising energy costs putting some community pools at risk of closure, it has been a challenging year for swimming.

As well as supporting life-saving charities, £2.50 from the entry fee of everyone taking part at an official Swimathon venue is donated to help protect those pools for the future.

To sign up to take part visit http://swimathon.org.