50th birthday swim challenge success at Blyth

Blyth’s anniversary swim challenge success 

Hundreds  of swimmers made sure Blyth Sport Centre’s 50th anniversary swimming challenge was a huge success.

Residents, customers and local school children  helped to swim an amazing  21,650 lengths,  smashing the target that had been set of 18,240 lengths, with each length representing one of the days that the pool has been open.

Former Olympic and world class swimmer Nick Gillingham MBE  joined in the action and   started the event by diving into the pool at noon on Friday.

The swim lasted 24 hours and a rota was set up with swimmers booking a slot in the pool. Many swam through the night, to help the centre reach its target by noon on Saturday.

There were over 300 participants in the event with local school children and swimmers with disabilities all taking part. And it wasn’t just local people who got involved with people  travelling  in from Ponteland,  Otterburn, North Shields to help with the challenge.  Everyone who took part received a commemorative medal.

The event was supported by Blyth Town Council. Local Radio station Beach Hut Radio did a 24 hour broadcast from the poolside, playing music, carrying out  interviews and really helping to keep the energy going especially through the night.

Northumberland County Councillor Cath Homer, cabinet member with responsibility for leisure said:

“ There was a tremendous community spirit within the centre at the weekend and it was great to see so many people of all ages, and all swimming abilities joining in to help the centre reach  its target. Well done to everyone who took part. ”

Cllr John Robert Potts, Mayor of Blyth Town Council attended the event.
" I was  a pupil at Bedlington Grammar school then the pool was first  opened and  we came for swimming lessons to Blyth every Wednesday so the pool has many memories for me.
“ There were  a lot of happy swimmers taking part in the challenge, each trying their best. I am sure the event  will encourage more people to take up swimming which is so important. It is not just a sport, it  supports a healthy living style and can save lives. ”

In addition to the 24-hour swim challenge, the centre also  offered free swimming on Saturday afternoon.

The staff at Blyth Sports Centre would like to thank everyone who took part in the celebrations.

11 Jul 2017