ST PETER PORT, Guernsey, July 6, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --
The Skipton Swimarathon Committee is delighted to announce that Olympic hopeful Ian Powell will be joining this year's Skipton Swimarathon as the event's official Ambassador. The 25 year old Olympic championship swimmer is Guernsey born and bred and has been a keen swimmer since the age of three. As Ambassador to the Skipton Swimarathon, his role will be to work with the sponsors Skipton International and to help communicate the benefits of swimming and encourage people to sign up to this year's event and so raise funds for local good causes.
The Skipton Swimarathon (http://www.swimarathon.org), now in its 35th year, is organised by the Guernsey Lions and the Guernsey Round Table and is one of the island's oldest charity events. Set to take place this year at the Beau Sejour Centre from 6-9 October, the event raises funds for good causes in Guernsey and is a permanent fixture in the island's charity events calendar. An appeal went out in May of this year to the people of Guernsey to come up with suggestions for the event's primary fundraising beneficiary, so this year's recipient will be announced soon.
Ian's background made him an ideal candidate for the job. He started swimming at the age of three at the Beau Sejour and went onto Swim School at the age of five, and then into Barracudas at the age of 10. Over the last 10 years, Ian has won several swimming medals at the Island Games and has competed in the Commonwealth Games, together with several other national and international competitions. In this year's Island games, he won seven gold and three sliver medals and smashed six Island Games records. Next year he will be taking part in the Olympic trials, for which he hopes to represent the UK. His talent is so exceptional that he won a scholarship to the Florida State University, where he trained for six years. He is currently training in Stockport in the run up to the Olympic Games.
Commenting on his new role, Ian said: "I am delighted to have been invited to be the Ambassador for this year's Skipton Swimarathon. I started my swimming at Beau Sejour so I have a real attachment to the place. Guernsey is my home, and this is such an important event here, I am delighted to support it in any way I can. My role will be to encourage kids and adults alike to get involved this year and raise funds - swimming is so good for you, not only for your general fitness, but it's great fun with family and friends too. I also want to stress the importance of goal setting, and how exercise can really help in other areas of your life too."
Jeff Kitts, Swimarathon Chairman said: "We are so fortunate to have Ian helping us out this year. He has a fantastic track record in swimming and we wish him the best of luck for the Olympic trials next year. His dedication and enthusiasm will be a real boost to this year's event. I am sure he will be a huge asset."
Entering the Skipton Swimarathon
Go to the website http://www.swimarathon.org to enter and remember, teams of 4 to 8 are invited, swimmers can get together as family groups, friends, from clubs, schools and of course company teams are most welcome.
This year donations and sponsorships can be made on line via http://www.Justgiving.com at http://www.justgiving.com/skiptonswimarathon. Even if you are not swimming you can still help support the event by making a donation through the lifebuoy link onhttp://www.swimarathon.org.
About the Skipton Swimarathon
The Lions Club of Guernsey, Guernsey Round Table and Variety Club of Guernsey formed the first Swimarathon Organising Committee under the chairmanship of Jurat Harry Bisson in 1977. The proceeds from the event were to be shared equally by the clubs and could only be spent locally.
At the first Swimarathon 186 teams swam over a period of 31 one-hour sessions. This proved to be a very successful event - both socially and financially. It was started by the Bailiff Sir John Loveridge at 5pm on the Friday and finished at 10pm on the Sunday. Just over 1,000 people took part and the sum of £19,900 was raised.
Over succeeding years Guernsey Swimarathon has gone from strength to strength and become the Island's greatest community fund raising event. Unlike many similar fundraisers, fun has been the essential quality upon which its success has prospered. In that way over 50,000 swimmers of all ages have raised more than £1,000,000 for local needs during 34 enjoyable years.
Many Swimarathon traditions have been established including the challenge of swimming for trophies. Children swim on a distance basis and adults on money raised. Trophy categories include Insurance, Professional Services, Construction, Religious, Financial, Families, Health, Most Funds Raised etc. Non-swimmers have participated in rubber dinghies, sub-aqua clubs without surfacing, keep fit clubs without swimming and the event even had its own TV station for a few years!
Guernsey Variety Club faded some years back and Round Table and Lions Club are now the beneficiaries. Quite often the two clubs agree to pool Swimarathon resources towards a common goal, for example: Help the Aged. ; Guernsey Society for cancer relief - Bulstrode House; a number of Youth Clubs; Maison St. Pierre; Grow Limited; W.R.V.S; equipment for handicapped swimmers. St. John's Ambulance and Rescue; and last year The Ron Short Centre.
Although Swimarathon was given the use of the Beau Sejour pool free of charge in its early years, later, when charges were introduced the Organising Committee was able to offset costs due to the generosity of local sponsors. We are delighted to announce that for this year Skipton International is again the sponsor.
About Skipton International in the Community
In April 2010 the bank became the lead sponsor of the famous Guernsey Swimarathon, which is now known as the Skipton Swimarathon. Last year's inaugural Skipton Swimarathon raised over £42,000 for good causes in the Island, including a major donation to the Ron Short Centre.
Skipton International has a long standing reputation for community activity. Since 1996, the bank has been the lead sponsor of Floral Guernsey. Donations totalling many thousands of pounds have been made annually to support and develop the festival across the Bailiwick of Guernsey. The Floral Festival weeks are now highly regarded events in the local gardening calendar and attract many visitors to the islands.
Skipton International is also a regular contributor to other local events encompassing sport, the arts and local good cause including the Liberation Day celebrations.
Media contacts: Please contact:
Guy Stephenson/Jennifer Duffy
SOURCE Skipton International