This year’s Swimarathon has raised more than £55,000 despite it being cancelled the day before it was due to start.
The five day event, which is Jersey’s biggest sporting fundraiser, was due to take place in March but on the advice of the States of Jersey, following the first positive case of coronavirus in the island, it was cancelled just 14 hours before the first of the 3,500 swimmers were due to enter the water.
“This was the first Lions Swimarathon to be cancelled, which was a real blow for the committee and our sponsors Ravenscroft but a significant disappointment for the five charities. We appealed to swimmers to donate any money they had already collected so that some good could come from everyone’s efforts and commitment and as always the people of Jersey have been incredibly generous,” says Swimarathon organising committee chairman Lion Damon Greber.
“In light of what has happened over the last two months, we have contacted the five charities, Brighter Futures, Brightly, the Jersey Youth Trust, the Teenage Cancer Trust and YouMatter, and agreed with them that they will be the main beneficiaries for the 2021 event, which will be the 50th Swimarathon. That means that the Jersey Lions can use the money raised from this year’s events to help local charities who will undoubtedly struggle due to their own events and fundraising efforts being impacted by coronavirus.”
Lion Greber said that all the money raised from the 2020 Lions Swimarathon would be available to charities as Ravenscroft had agreed to cover all of the expenditure.
“We’re very grateful for the support we received from Government House and also to the management of Les Quennevais Sports Centre. Since we were all set up to go, we incurred the setting-up costs but Ravenscroft has kindly covered all of our expenditure and we thank them for their generosity and support,”he said.
“If anyone or any team still have donations that they wish to pay in, details of how this can be done can be found on our website www.lionsswimarathon.org.”
Jersey Lions president Lion Mark Godel said the support of the island for the Lions Swimarathon was as strong as always.
“We want to thank everyone who has donated to this year’s Swimarathon as it will allow us to help so many local charities and Islanders. This will be a year like no other for many local charities and we hope that we can support them so they can continue their invaluable work,” he said. “We will also start planning for the 2021 Swimarathon, which will be a celebration of what is an amazing community event.”
Haydn Taylor, managing director of Ravenscroft in Jersey, said there was no hesitation for the investment services company to cover the expenditure.
“We wanted to ensure every penny donated by islanders could help Jersey charities. Ravenscroft’s support of the local community this year was going to be more than ever before and we have sadly already seen a number of events being impacted by the current situation. Our commitment to those events, charities and organisations hasn’t changed and we are working with them to help where we can” he said.
The date for the 2021 Swimarathon, which will be the 50th, has been confirmed as Wednesday 3 to Sunday 7 March and teams who had registered for the 2020 event will be contacted later this year to be offered priority lane booking.