Island swimmers have raised a record-breaking £137,000 at the 2010 Lions Club of Jersey Swimarathon.

Over 3,500 people swam thousands of laps to break the fundraising record for the five-day event, which is sponsored by RBC Wealth Management.

With a record 448 teams registered for the big swim, hopes were high for a big fundraiser for Holidays for Heroes Jersey, the Jersey Special Gymnastics Club and other local charities supported by the Lions Club.

‘Islanders have a huge affection for the Swimarathon, said Eric Bertrand, President of the Lions Club of Jersey. ‘Their efforts have, once again, meant that we are able to translate that goodwill and sponsorship into much-needed funds for local charities.’

Holidays for Heroes Jersey is one of the two main beneficiaries and had an enthusiastic team of local and visiting service personnel taking part. The donation from the Swimarathon will provide over 60 holidays to heroes, carers and their families at the Maison des Landes Hotel.

‘This is the largest donation that the charity has ever received – we’re absolutely thrilled’, said Dawn and Richard Woodhouse, founders of Holidays for Heroes Jersey. ‘We’d like to thank everyone who took part and to the Lions Club and event sponsor RBC Wealth Management for all their support.’

The Jersey Special Gymnastics Club was also a principal beneficiary and Chairman Gary Buesnel said the funds will make a huge difference to the financial security of the club. ‘To be able to guarantee our future for the next few years means that we can concentrate on achieving our aim – to have as many children as possible participating in gymnastics regardless of means or ability.’

‘Our own team had a fantastic time on Thursday and we really are delighted to have been chosen as a beneficiary in a year when there are so many deserving charities which need assistance,’ said Mr Buesnel.

Paul Patterson, Head of RBC Wealth Management in the British Isles, swam on Sunday in one of the fourteen RBC teams and is delighted that it has been another record year for the Swimarathon. ’We are proud to continue our support of the Lions Club of Jersey Swimarathon and would like to congratulate each and every swimmer that took to the water. We base our donation on the number of laps swum – so this year’s record swim means we have contributed more towards this great event that benefits the local community.’

Lion Ian Robins, Chairman of Swimarathon Committee, said that it is incredible to see the dedication which people show every year to make the Swimarathon a success. ‘The Swimarathon remains an event at the heart of the Island community and we are enormously grateful to everyone involved.’

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Issued by Kirsten Morel at Image PR on 734444 or by e-mail