Thousands handed over to local good causes

Boost...Ian Clarkson, Dee Quinn, Rennie Quinn president of Market Harborough Rotary Club, Chris Etherington, Doug Woollard and Hilary Hearnshaw during the Swimathon presentation evening at Robert Smyth Academy.'PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER
Boost...Ian Clarkson, Dee Quinn, Rennie Quinn president of Market Harborough Rotary Club, Chris Etherington, Doug Woollard and Hilary Hearnshaw during the Swimathon presentation evening at Robert Smyth Academy.'PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

The cash was splashed on Monday evening as £7,000 was handed over to local good causes from the Rotary 
SwiMarathon 2015 Funds

The Rotary Club of Market Harborough made awards of grants to 33 local organisations in total.

The money was raised from the SwiMarathon event held in April at Harborough Leisure Centre. Swimmers were sponsored and many local businesses also gave support.

The awards were presented at a special Rotary meeting, to which the business sponsors were also invited. Each grant recipient had the opportunity to talk about their organisation and how the money would be spent.

This is the fifth year the Rotary club has been able to give away money to local worthy organisations.

The 2015 SwiMarathon involved 36 swimming teams from local businesses, schools and clubs, plus some Rotarians and their families and friends. Each team swam in one lane of the pool for one hour, with the event spread over two days .

Applications for amounts up to £500 were invited. The grants were decided by a panel of independent judges and ranged from £70 to £500. The club received 39 applications but were unable to support all of them. The grants were awarded to: 1st Great Bowden Brownies; 1st Foxton Scout Group; 1st Little Bowden Rainbows; 5th MH Brownies; Arts Fresco 2015; Christine’s Swim School; Friends of Great Bowden Cemetery; Great Bowden Recital Trust; Girlguiding MH; Hammond Arboretum; HFM Radio; Harborough Town Football Club Under 10 Raptors; Harborough Youth and Community Trust; Jigsaw Autistic Society Holiday Club; Little Bowden PTA; ME/CFS and FM Support Group; MH Church of England Academy; MH Disabled Swimming Club; MH Fencing Club; MH in Bloom Volunteers; MH Musical Theatre; MH Netball League; MH Street Pastors; MH Swimming Club; Papworth Trust; Rock on the Rec; Sea Cadets TS Fernie; Shopmobility; Snow Finders Netball Team; Speak Out Newsletter; St Johns Cadets; The Bower House; Welcome Club

There were also prizes awarded to swimmers and individuals who had contributed to the success of the event. These were:

The Barbara and Tom Walker Award for outstanding achievement (2015). A new award given in honour of former Rotarian the late Tom Walker, and his widow Barbara who is a regular business sponsor of the SwiMarathon, it is given to the person who has the most impact on the success of the SwiMarathon.

The first award, for 2015, was given to Hazel Stephens. She has, for each of the five years of the SwiMarathon, organised and delivered up to 12 teams each year, of pupils, staff, parents and former pupils of MH Church of England Academy (Fairfield Road).

Best Team Organiser: Hazel Stephens, teacher at Market Harborough Church of England Primary School with nine pupil teams, two parent teams and one staff team.

The team with the most imaginative name: Sonic Swimmers (Little Bowden Primary School)

The team who swam the most lengths: Miracle Mermaids (Christine Giles Swimming School)

Team who raised the most sponsorship money: One armed bandit and gang (MH Disabled swimming club)

2015 Star Swimmer: Susan Spriggs who swam for the MH Disabled Swimming Club team

The Rotary club would like to thank the business sponsors for their generous support, without whom the grant awards would be much reduced. They are: Andrew Granger & Co; Angel Hotel; Brooke House College; ET Peirson; e.surv Chartered Surveyors; Foxton Locks Inn; Harborough FM Radio; Harborough Leisure Centre; Harborough Mail; Harboro Rubber; Jet Pumps UK Ltd; Lewingtons Heating Engineers; Mayday Independent Financial Services Ltd; MDH Teamwear and Trophies; Mistry’s Pharmacy; Quinns Bookshop; Stephen Sanderson Transport Ltd; Tim Thornton Jewellers; Walker Forestry Conservation; Wartnaby - Hefford Solicitors.