PEOPLE are being urged to make a splash as part of a campaign to highlight the daily struggle caused by a shortage of clean water in the Third World.
The Hartlepool Fairtrade Town Steering Group is staging a race with a difference next month where people have to race along a 1km course carrying a bucket of water.
But the winner will not be the first to complete the obstacle course at Summerhill Country Park, off Catcote Road, Hartlepool, but the one that has the most water in the bucket.
Chris Eddowes, of the Hartlepool Fairtrade Town Steering Group, said: “When we buy fairtrade products, as well as paying a fair price to the producers for what we get, they are also given a premium which is money their communities can decide to spend on what they need most.
“For some it is a school; for others a nurse or medicine; and for others it is simply digging a well to access clean water, which doesn’t need carrying from a huge distance away.
“For many children in poorer countries, this is a job they have to do before they can even think about going to school. Often, they don’t even get to school because this takes up so much of their time.”
The event is part of this year’s Fairtrade theme of “Take a Step for Fairtrade”.
Mrs Eddowes added: “To make us realise what a difficult job this is and how much effort it takes, the group are asking for teams of two to complete the challenge of carrying a full bucket of water for 1km. To make it more fun and realistic there will be a series of obstacles along the course.
“The race will be won not by the fastest team, but the one who has kept the most amount of water in their bucket. The route will be marshalled to make sure there is no cheating.”
Teams can be made up from families, all children aged under-eight have to be accompanied on the trail by an adult, and all competitors aged under-17 need to have a disclaimer form signed by a parent or guardian.
There will be a certificate for all who complete the course and a prize for the winners.
There will also be a quiz and a fairtrade stall at the centre and refreshments will be available.
Entry forms will be available from schools and from Summerhill.
For more information contact Mrs Eddowes on (01429) 269412 or Martin Green on (01429) 270591.