FUNDRAISERS made a splash for charity when they dived into the world’s biggest sponsored swim.
Keen participants and leisure centre staff at pools in Hartlepool and east Durham joined in the 25th Swimathon Weekend to raise vital funds for charity.
Teams and individuals took part in the event at Mill House Leisure Centre, in Raby Road.
Mill House manager Craig Mitchelson said: “People could do a mile or 2.5km or 5km either on their own or as a team in relay.
“We decided to do 5km between five members of staff as a relay.
“We had quite a lot of teams and individuals taking part over two sessions.”
More swimmers made a splash for charity at Peterlee Leisure Centre which also took part in the charity drive.
This year the world’s biggest fundraising swim joined forces with Marie Curie Cancer Care, the BBC’s and British Swimming’s Big Splash and Sport Relief to give thousands of swimmers the chance to raise cash.
As well as the more challenging 5km swims which raised money for Marie Curie, sponsorship for the shorter Big Splash Mile will go to Sport Relief.
A record 645 pools up and down the country hosted sessions.
Celebrities also backed the initiative including Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker and Olympic gold medallist Duncan Goodhew.
Swimathon president Duncan said: “Being our 25th anniversary year, we’re delighted to add to the half a million people who have taken part in the event so far, to dive into pools up and down the country.
“These amazing people have raised more than £34m for charity to date, including £6m for Marie Curie Cancer Care alone.”
Money raised by mile swimmers will be spent by Comic Relief to help people with tough lives in the UK, and in the world’s poorest countries.
Funds raised for Marie Curie Cancer Care will help to provide free nursing care and support for people with terminal cancer and other illnesses.