Local people in Down are being put to the test in the latest Ards Borough Council challenge to swim the equivalent length of Strangford Lough during the month of May.
Participants have to swim a total of 20 miles – roughly the equivalent of the distance between Newtownards and Portaferry – in five weeks at Ards Leisure Centre to successfully complete the challenge and they can also choose to raise vital sponsorship funds for a local charity, like Cancer Focus Northern Ireland, which is giving every swimmer a free T-shirt and fundraising pack.
The Mayor of Ards, Councillor Stephen McIlveen, who is urging local people to take up the fitness challenge and support Cancer Focus NI or a charity of their choice, said: “The Council is always keen to support local charities and the swim challenge, which is now in its second year, is a great way for people to set a fitness goal, have some fun, and raise vital funds for Cancer Focus NI or another charity. Plus, this initiative is a fundraiser that the whole community can get involved in, either by participating or by sponsoring someone who is.”
“The idea of swimming the length of Strangford Lough may seem daunting but by my calculations you only need to swim under 40 lengths per day to complete the feat within the allocated 5 weeks. I am encouraging people to take part and raise even more money than last year!”
Every year in Northern Ireland, Cancer Focus NI provides care and support to 4,000 people living with cancer, including 180 children whose parent is living with a diagnosis. Our cancer prevention team visits 250 primary schools, delivers community health events to 20,000 people and helps 800 people to stop smoking every year.
They also fund pioneering research at Queen’s University Belfast, investing £300,000 to £400,000 annually into developing tests for, treatment of and prevention of breast cancer.
Their work in the community includes cancer support groups, freephone information and support helpline, counselling service, bra-fitting service for women who have had breast cancer surgery and family support services, as well as a range of therapeutic and complementary services. The swim challenge runs form 28 April – 31 May. For further information or to obtain an entry form please contact Ards Leisure Centre, Tel: 028 9181 2837 or Email: