VIDEO: Splashing out the cash for deserving causes

An impressive £7,000 has been handed out to district community groups thanks to a well-supported swimming event.

The Rotary Club of Market Harborough made grant awards to 31 district organisations on Monday night during a presentation evening at Harborough’s Robert Smyth Academy.

Janet Meek president, and Chris Etherington, chairman of Swimfest, during the presentation evening at Robert Smyth Academy

Janet Meek president, and Chris Etherington, chairman of Swimfest, during the presentation evening at Robert Smyth Academy

The money was raised through the town rotary club’s two-day SwiMarathon event at Harborough Leisure Centre in April.

Swimmers were sponsored and many local businesses also gave sponsorship.

This is the fourth year the club has been able to give away money to worthy district organisations.

The 2014 SwiMarathon involved 34 swimming teams from businesses, schools and clubs, plus some rotarians and their families and friends.

Each team swam in one lane of the pool for an hour.

The grants were promoted in the Harborough Mail and applications for amounts up to £500 were invited.

The grants were decided by a panel of five judges and ranged from £70 to £450.

The club received 42 applications but were unable to support them all.

The awards were presented at a special rotary meeting on Monday night, to which the business sponsors were also invited.

Each grant recipient had the opportunity to talk for two minutes about their organisation.

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

Best team organiser went to Hazel Stephens, a teacher at Harborough CofE Primary School. The school had nine pupil teams, two parent teams and one staff team.

Most imaginative name was The Sticky Plasters team from St John Ambulance.

The Harborough Hoodlums staff team from Harborough Leisure Centre swam the most lengths.

Most sponsorship money was collected by The Paddling Pasties 1 team from Harborough Street Pastors.

Best junior swimmer was Eloise Garner and outstanding swimmer was Trudy Spencer.

A rotary club spokesman said: “One of the benefits was how much everybody there learned about other good causes in Market Harborough, as well as about rotary.

“The club thanks the business sponsors for their generous support.”

The date for next year’s SwiMarathon has already been set. It will be held at Harborough Leisure Centre on Saturday, April 18, and Sunday, April 19, 2015.

This year’s grant winners

Arts Fresco, Harborough Museum, HFM, Harborough in Bloom, Market Harborough & District Community Vehicle, Little Bowden School, Little Bowden School PTA, Harborough Town FC Raptors, Sea Cadets TS Fernie , Harborough Street Pastors, Harborough Disabled Swimming Club, 1st Little Bowden Rainbows, St John Ambulance Cadets, Voluntary Action South Leicestershire, The Little Explorers Activity Club, Gumley Cricket Club, Freedom Support Solutions, Christine Giles Swimming School, Bower House, Shopmobility, 1st Harborough Scouts, Medbourne Cricket Club, 1st Foxton Scouts, Dragon Explorer Scouts, Harborough CofE Primary PTA, Great Bowden Primary PTA, National Childbirth Trust Baby Feeding support group, 1st Little Bowden Brownies, Arthingworth Village Hall, JIGSAW Autism Support and Enable Youth/Rock on the Rec.