Video about the event

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Happy New Year - New Clubs, New Countries - Global Swim 2014!

Photo: Rotary / Rotaract Club of Shanghai event February 2013

Happy New Year everyone!

Right now there are just over 44 days to go until our 3rd Global splashtactular and thanks to your amazing support we continue to go from strength to strength. As always the stories of how new clubs find out about the event are endlessly fascinating!

In December we got our first ever registration from a club in Sweden. After we sent the event guides through we received this fantastic email from Billy Jernberg who registered the event.

"We are glad to be able to enter this event, which really shows the power of Rotary.
Our mission will be to challenge other clubs in Sweden to participate, we will use Facebook and our website to do that.

I first learned about your event when I was in Shanghai in February and visited the Shanghai Rotary club and was invited to swim in their Swimarathon."

So a visit to Shanghai China lead to a Swimarathon being set up at the other end of the world - wonderful!

Via Twitter we heard that our Rotarians in the Bahamas would be joining in - the variations in temperatures mean nothing - it's all about that common goal of eradicating Polio.

Just yesterday we received our first ever registration from Malaysia the Rotary Club of Ipoh South and with a 6 hour event, including celebrity guests, AquaZumba and a blood drive they have it very well organized!!

Talking of extra events, hopefully many of you will already be aware that there is another fantastic worldwide initiative going on during Rotary Week - The world's biggest Meal to End Polio Now. The event, the brainchild of my dear friends Susanne Rea from Australia-our most active Global Swim supporter over the last two years and the equally unstoppably dedicated PDG Mukesh Malhotra RIBI communities officer, fits perfectly with our Swimarathon events. Very easy to organize a meal before , during or after the event , or even during your normal club meetings.

Already in just a few weeks , 50+ clubs in 5 continents have signed up - take a look the map

and you can get all the details on how to register to take part on the facebook group

First a swim, then a meal - why not finish with flowers - Rotary Crocuses supporting End Polio Now.

Particularly for those clubs in the US and Europe, where these fantastic silk flowers are now available to order directly online - here's how you can order

So right now we have 302 clubs in 41 countries on our map - room for plenty more!

To join us please visit Rotary Global Swimarathon watch the 2 min registration video on how to sign up or follow instructions and you could be part of all this - remember doesn't have to be a big event, just a group of friends swimming together. As the Bill Gates foundation will treble all donations in 2013 for End Polio Now, every $1 raised counts as $3 , and with 3 great ways to raise, swim, meal and flowers, it's the perfect time to get involved!!


Sunday, 13 October 2013

3 is the magic number! $1million in a day our goal for 2014!!

Here are 3 key facts:

1. Sunday 23rd February 2014 will be the 3rd year of Rotary Global Swimarathon.

2. The crippling disease of Polio is still endemic in 3 countries in the world.

3. Early this year, the Gates foundation announced that it would be match 2:1 all Rotary fundraising for End Polio Now - that means all donations will be tripled $1 = $3

So today with 133 days to go, the Rotary Club of Grantham are proud to announce the official End Polio Now fundraising target for 2014 is all the threes - $333,333 - with the trebling possible that would mean raising $999,999 in just 1 day (and I think we can round that up to a $1million!!)

Three reasons to believe we can achieve this amazing goal?

1. Rotary District 1010 are aiming to have 50 clubs take part and are targeting to raise £100,000 which x 3 = £300,000 or $500K!!

2. Delegates from every club in Rotary District 2980 India are planning to swim during their District conference in Malaysia

3. In 2012 we raised $100,000 in just 1 hour - so how much can we raise in 24 hours!!

And here's the thing - there are now three ways to even non-swimmers to join in - even those without an official organized event

1. Virtual swimming -led by District 3170 Rotarians and clubs around the world can join in a virtual swim where you can donate online and swim in your local pool, your gym, even your bath!

2. Rotary Crocus Flowers - Plans are well advanced to distribute purple silk flowers to clubs around the world, these beautiful flowers which symbolize the purple dye to indicate Polio immunization can be sold for $1 at all the events - perfect for spectators and well-wishers. (please visit for more info)

3. Announcing World's Greatest Meal to End Polio Now
Facebook group here - plan is to get as many clubs as possible to donate at least $1 per person from meals in and around Rotary Week (17th -23rd February 2014), and of course can extend that to meals during the Swim events that the participants and watching crowds enjoy!

So what are you waiting for!

Here's 3 things you can do right now to find out more

1. Follow us on Twitter

2. Like us on Facebook

3. Visit our website and register your club

Together we can End Polio Now - 3 words that mean the world to us all!

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Now EVERYONE in the world can join Global Swim!

11 days to go...

An incredible few weeks have seen us reach an truly extraordinary 232 clubs on the global map in 45 countries and 70+ Rotary districts

We are now officially a 6 continent event being joined by clubs in Ecuador and Brazil in South America!

There are 124 club event entries registered on the website.

Here we are being highlighted as a key event for Rotary day on the Rotary International Web pages

Draws breath... But there is more, there is so much more to share.

If you are reading this and saying to yourself - there's only a few days to go, admirable project but its just too late for our club to join in - here's the big news.....

Thanks to the brilliant innovation and vision of Rotary E-Club District 3170 President Lizette Oldfalk you can join in wherever you are in the world! She's created a virtual team sign up

So you could swim at your gym, at the local pool, nip down to the beach and swim in the ocean - the possibilities are limitless. All you have to do is click on this event invite and donate a minimum of just $5 which goes to Rotary Foundation for End Polio Now - and then please share it with you friends.

If you don't have the chance to swim, even if you can't swim, you can still be a part of this uniquely global happening. There's already $280 raised , this is going to be huge. Just imagine if every Rotarian donated just $5 - over $5 million!! Donations can be accepted from anywhere in the world

Talking of online donations for those of you taking part in Australia, Genevieve Carr of the Rotary Club of Kwinana has set up this page which goes straight to the Australian Rotary Foundation End Polio Now there's already over $860 Australian dollars on there and you can create your own page for your swim team

We raised $105,000 in 2012, but with twice as many clubs and 3 times the average duration of events the possibilities of raising $500,000 or more are extremely real

And however you support us, please do be sure to spare a couple of minutes to register on our website so that we can track that you have taken part and keep you updated. Here's those video instructions once more.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Exactly 1 month till the world's greatest swim!

Dear Rotary Friends and Family around the world,
As someone who has put their very heart and soul into this incredible global event over the last two years, with exactly 1 month to go at 12 noon , I truly feel this is the perfect time for me to write a personal letter to you all.

It's a letter filled with enormous gratitude and wonder at we have collectively achieved, and a letter filled with anticipation about the possibilities that are opening up before us.

In late 2010, Rotary Global Swimarathon was nothing more than a momentary spark of inspiration from our event chair and fellow Rotary Club of Grantham member Roger Graves.

He just wanted to share a bit of the magic of our biggest club and community fundraiser with the rest of the world.

Rotarians, Rotaractors, Interactors, Earlyactors, Rotakids, Inner Wheelers, families and friends, supported and inspired by Paralympians, Olympians and World Champions made that dream come true.

25 February 2012 the nearest Saturday to Rotary day saw the most inclusive and biggest simultaneous global swimming event in human history.

Guinness World Records officially recorded the 4546 participants aged between 8 and 93 synchronizing their 100 metre swims in 23 countries , 15 different time zones across 5 continents.

All united in the shared cause of eradicating Polio from this earth raising over $100,000 from that 1 inspirational hour.

So here we are in 2013. And on Rotary day the 108th anniversary of its foundation, 23 February 2013, it will be 24 inspirational hours.

It will be the biggest global Rotary club led same day fundraiser in our history. It is set to become the world's biggest ever inclusive same day global swimming event. One look at this map tells you all you need to know. 180 clubs in 43 countries and 6 continents.

View Rotary Global Swimarathon 2013 in a larger map

Except this. To add your club, or group, or even just you as a person to this map, all you have to do is find at least 1 person who is able to swim on 23 February 2013 and register on the website as instructed in the video below

Yes there will be well over 100 community events around the world, guaranteeing that in every minute of that 24 hours someone will be swimming with you. But you don't need to hire a pool or fill out detailed registration information to take part - it's not being measured by Guinness World Records this time, so there are no minimum participation requirements. You can choose to support End Polio Now or any other charity you choose, and you make the arrangements to donate funds raised locally.

All you need to do is register, let us know where you are swimmming, at what time, with how many people and after the event tell us how much you raised and for which charities. So please join us, be part of something bigger than all of us.

I'll leave you with the Rotary moment that changed my world in last year's event. Watching 14 year Moin Junnedi, India's youngest national paralympian completing his swim. He suffers from a severe brittle bones condition which has meant he's suffered with over 200 fractures during his young life- just a day or two before this swim, he suffered 4 fractures but was so determined to take part. Recently I was honoured to become his friend on Facebook - His ambition - to swim in our Grantham event - we will do whatever we can to make that happen in 2014 the 25th anniversary of our local swimarathon.

Right now, I want you to ask yourself just one question. Do I know someone who can swim? If you do, if that's you, if you can spare half an hour on a Saturday afternoon or whatever time suits you on 23 February 2013 in your time zone , please join us. Share it with your club, share it with your district, represent your entire country.

Be part of something magical. Together we really can make a difference.

Thank you for reading, your support means the world.


Paul Wilson
Rotary Club of Grantham
Rotary Global Swimarathon event co-ordinator

Please email for more information

Monday, 21 January 2013

33 days to go - 68 clubs in 17 Countries confirmed

Hi everyone,
Great to be able to give you the latest updates on Global Swimarathon - we are currently receiving and updating the event details from events around the world. What's actually wonderful is the information from just 22 events shows that already the full 24 hour day (apart from last 4 hrs) features someone swimming somewhere in the world

Here's another update on how many clubs in which countries are taking part - just shows how global it is that the top 4 countries are in 4 different continents - Europe, North America, Asia and Oceania!

1. England 18
2. USA 11
3. India 10
4. Australia 9
5. South Africa 4
6. Scotland 3
7. Pakistan, New Zealand, Ireland 2
10. Wales,Germany,Spain,Bosnia-Herzegovina,Croatia,Mexico,Canada,Egypt 1

The District Competition is also getting very close at the top with 11 Districts with more than 1 club entered - remarkably each District comes from a different Continent - so Oceania, Europe, Africa, Asia, North America

1. District 9550 6
2. District 1070 5
3. District 9320 4
4. District 3170 4
5. District 7040 4
6. District 2980 4
7. District 1110 3
8. District 1160 2
9. District 1280 2
10. District 9930 2
11. District 1010 2

Overall there are an amazing 39 Districts represented so far!

There is plenty of time to improve the standing of your District. Remember only takes 2 mins to sign up your club. If its a joint event, please register all the clubs taking part, if its a small event or a large one, we want to hear about it and share it with anyone. Here's that video again

Finally an appeal to anyone with contacts with clubs in South America - we dearly would love to see some South American Clubs join us this year - lets make it a 6 continent spectacular!

Thursday, 10 January 2013

44 days to go - 60 entries confirmed!

Great news today as we reached another important milestone - 60 clubs now officially entered on the website - every chance of getting past 100 before January is out! Many thanks to Lawrence Tristam organizer of the Rotary Club of Petersfield event, in District 1110.

Now in the build up to last years event one or two clubs had to pull out close to the event date, but none were unluckier than RC Petersfield. They had the pool booked for 12pm all the team in place, the swimmers ready to go. Almost unbelievably the generator failed at 11.30am which meant that the swim could not go ahead. Definitely world record breakers every day of the week and so pleased to see them back.

There is of course one other unrecorded world record breaker who really deserves a mention. The infamous 4am ocean swim of Rotary Club of La Jolla Sunrise featured 84 swimmers....and a dog! Guinness world records may not have counted him in that number but today we salute the achievements of Branson - to the best of my knowledge the only world record participating canine swimmer in the Universe!

Here's the full story from the Rotary Club of La Jolla Sunrise website

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

45 days to go - a trio of returning Swimarathons

Delighted to say the registrations are still pouring in - 3 more just today. All 3 are clubs who joined in the magical world record hour last year

First we have the Rotary Club of Wagner South Dakota in the US, then the Rotary Club of Perth in Canada (our 1st entry this year in Canada so country number 16) and last but not least our most Northerly club from last year the Rotary Club of East Sutherland in Scotland. Its a cool 11,300 miles between East Sutherland and Matamata in New Zealand - but they swam at the exact same time in 2012- just magical!!

Finally at this time of year I always like to have a sweep around on google to see the events being advertised - this one is the Rotary Club of Limavady in Northern Ireland

Just wonderful in terms of the legacy of the event that Rotary Club of Polmont who took part in the World Record have now created a 4 hour event for 2013 and I've just realised haven't registered on our website - so there's club number 60 right there!!

100 clubs should be in range very soon!