The event will take place from 12-16 March 2014 at Les Quennevais Sports Centre, and Oakwell Children’s Respite Centre has been selected as a major beneficiary of the funds raised by participants for the event. Situated on the Park Estate in St Brelade, the Centre offers overnight and weekend support to families where a child or children within the family has a severe mobility problem or profound learning difficulties.
From the total funds raised during the 2014 Swimarathon, a minimum of £25,000 will be donated to Oakwell to aid the further development of the Centre such as creating more bedrooms and upgrading the kitchen facilities. In addition, the Lions Club is also seeking 25 Jersey-based children’s charities to apply to share at least a further £25,000.

Richard Jouault, Managing Director, Community and Social Services, said: ‘Oakwell offers a vital support service to both parents and children, providing them with valuable respite care. We are very grateful to the Lions Club for selecting Oakwell for such a generous donation of funds – it will certainly assist us in the development of the Centre, and help us improve the quality of the services we are able to offer.’

President of the Lions Club of Jersey, Lion Chris Clarke said: ‘We are delighted to be launching the 2014 Jersey Swimarathon this month, and to be announcing our beneficiary focus on children’s charities. We are acutely aware of the importance of their dedication, exemplified by the excellent work that the team at Oakwell Children’s Respite Centre do, day in day out. Alongside Oakwell we will be selecting a further 25 charities, that support the Island’s young people, as beneficiaries.’           

The Swimarathon has become a major feature of Jersey’s annual event calendar. Since the event’s inception in 1972 over £3.1million has been raised for charities, and last year included a special celebration of the Lions Club of Jersey’s  50th anniversary.

Looking ahead to next year’s event, Chris Blampied, Head of Banking, RBC Wealth Management said: ‘Over the seven years that we have supported this great community event, we have seen many local charities benefit from the generosity of the Island’s population. We are particularly pleased that the Lions Club has chosen to focus on children’s charities, as they are often under-funded yet play such a pivotal role in securing the future of the Island. We look forward to another great event in 2014.’  

Almost 3,500 swimmers took part and dug deep to raise an amazing £110,219 in 2013. Application forms to become a beneficiary are being distributed by the Association of Jersey Charities to their members, with a nomination deadline of Friday 31 January 2014.  

For further information please contact Christopher Journeaux on 01534 734444