Video about the event

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

All set to smash the world record and make £1000s for End Polio Now!

24 days to go. First of all a huge thanks to all those of you who are already actively using our new Rotary Global Swimarathon Support Forum on Facebook. We'll be looking to hold regular live chat sessions on there at different times of the day over the next few weeks to help bring everyone together at the same time and to give us chance to share our progress and help each other - look out for announcements to come.

Thanks very much to everyone who's responded so far on our request for details of your local events. I'd like to share with you a few of the details which will hopefully give you a sense of just how big this event really is going to be....

Just going to list out 5 clubs as an example - remember there are 76 registered worldwide now :)

Club Name
Swimmers for
WR attempt
Fundraising target (£)
 Rotary Club of Grantham, UK
 Grantham Meres Leisure Centre
 Rotary Club of Townsville Daybreak, Australia
 Long Tan Swimming Pool

Rotary Club of Zamboanga City Phillipines
 Joaquim F Enriquez Sports Stadium Pool
 Rotary Club of Knaresborough
 Knaresborough Swimming Pool
 Rotary Club of Mareeba
 Mareeba Swimming Pool

So in just 5 events - we can exceed the 2533 swimmer target and raise over £12,000  ($20,000 US) in the process.

This is going to be one very special day......

Monday, 30 January 2012

A new Rotary Global Swimarathon support forum

25 days to go. This morning we had our club's first ever breakfast meeting, in our latest innovation to attract new membership interest in the town. With a week to go to our own local swimarathon it was wonderful to see that all 20 of the guests who came along all knew about swimarathon. It was with a real sense of pride when Roger Graves and I were able to share the story of how Global Swimarathon has spread around the world, and it really connected with the people in the room.

Two more confirmed sign ups today. Firstly number 75 was from St Francis Sports club on behalf of  the Rotary Club of St Francis Bay South Africa. Brilliant to get another sign up from an organization staging an event and working with local Rotary. Number 76 was a second entry in Romania from the Rotaract club of Satu Mare  - we're told there are a couple of other Rotaract clubs and Interact clubs there working together to organize an event so watch this space - exactly what we were talking about in yesterday's blog.

Finally as I mentioned yesterday, today we've launched a brand new facebook group, specifically for all the worldwide local event co-ordinators and supporters of Rotary Global Swimarathon. This is your chance to share your thoughts and progress updates, ask any questions and get aquainted all the Rotary clubs taking part around the world - please do use it. Can't promise we'll be there 24 hours but with so many taking part there'll always be someone to help out I'm sure.

Here's the link to the group if you'd like to join us :

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Share your Global Swimarathon story!

26 days to go. Wonderful to announce our first official sign up from Continental Europe tonight - Club number 74 is the Rotary Club of Satu Mare in Romania , thanks to Oanu Dumitru for completing the registration.

We really are closing in very fast on that 100 club sign up target - not a single day in the last week has gone by without a new sign up to report. Also in this week alone we've had sign ups from two Rotaract Clubs in London and Sydney, plus an Interact and even an Earlyact club in Pakistan, which just underlines how far we are now reaching in terms of participation.

What's also brilliant is that a number of sign ups this week, are from additional clubs that are linking up with those already entered to share in the events.

In that spirit, it would be truly wonderful if all of the clubs that are now officially entered could make a final promotional push to connect with other clubs including Rotaract and Interact clubs in their local area and Districts to get involved.

Please do use your own network of contacts through email, facebook and social media to help us reach as many people as possible. Every day, with every new connection, the collective efforts of our Rotary family around the world are writing new chapters in this incredible story.

We will shortly be setting up a Facebook group and inviting all those taking part or helping to promote Global Swimarathon to join in, and this should be another great way to share experiences, support and help each other in getting everything ready for that magical day on 25th February.

Finally, can I request that in terms of promoting the event in local media, coverage in newspapers / radio interviews , it is VERY IMPORTANT for the record submission that you keep extra copies of any articles mp3s etc about your local events to send through to us in Grantham at Global Swimarathon HQ along with completed list of entrants and photos / videos from the day as evidence. So please do keep that in mind over the next few weeks in the build up to the event.

Thankyou for all that you are doing - you really are making a difference, we really can END POLIO NOW.

Saturday, 28 January 2012

4 weeks today!

27 days to go. Just time to get a quick update out. Absolutely delighted to report 3 more entries since the last blog bringing the total to 73 clubs worldwide officially registered.

First we had the Rotary Club of Limavady District 1160, becoming the first Northern Ireland club to register and the 2nd in Ireland - thanks to Betty McNerlin. That means that now within RIBI we have an amazing 28 clubs registered, and England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Ireland all represented (not forgetting the Isle of Man). Out of the 1850 clubs nationwide, that means close to 2% of all the clubs in RIBI are taking part now!

This morning, two more registrations in Australia. Our first outright Rotaract registration from Rotaract Crosslands in Sydney thanks to Krissie Bredrin, and continuing the incredible support in District 9550 led by Susanne Rea, Ida Portello and Marcel Mcleod a 7th club from that district Mossman Rotary was registered as club number 73 by Roby Kessler - making it a phenomenal 10 clubs taking part in Australia!

Let's make that 100 clubs by the end of next week - we can do this!! - Remember if you are joining up with more than one Rotary , Rotaract, Interact or Earlyact club locally make sure you ask them to register on our website too. Only 1 local registration needed for the world record attempt, but for the event , please make sure all of the Rotary clubs involved are properly recorded.

So here's the latest map for you all to enjoy and share

75 clubs worldwide taking part in Rotary Global Swimarathon!


Friday, 27 January 2012

Hold the front Page - its 70 clubs worldwide!!

28 days to go. Incredible that since yesterday's blog entry, we've received no less than 7 new entries!
A new club in Canada, who I saw mentioned on their webpage when I did the Rotary Global Swimarathon google search The Rotary Club of Perth in Ontario. Then the Rotary Club of Pigeon Forge in the US became the 65th Club registered and the 8th in the USA

This morning woke up to discover that both the Rotary Club of South Gladstone and the Rotary club of Cairns North had registered in Queensland Australia.

Finally , just as I was updating the details, 3 clubs joined us in Pakistan thanks to a fantastic father and son team of Rtn Saleem Ahmad Khan President of Rotary Club of Lahore Metropolitan and Hammad Khan President of the Interact Club of Redwood, and then to cap it all we even have our first Earlyact club (ages 9-12) registered the EarlyAct Club of Greenwood. Absolutely incredible to have them joining us , means so very much to have that commitment in a part of the world where Polio is still an endemic reality.

With 70 clubs fully registered, we now have 1 in every 500 Rotary clubs in the entire world taking part!

Picked up our own local paper this morning, the Grantham Journal which has always been a fantastic supporter of our club. There we were , our chair Roger Graves and me pictured on the frontpage with the lead news story- wonderful to think that the event just grows and grows with your continued support we really might see Rotary Global Swimarathon making headline news around the world.

We have an incredible opportunity to showcase the Rotary family around the globe.

 Let's make this an event the world will truly be proud of !

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Keep those registrations coming !!

29 days to go. Very pleased to report that since yesterday's blog we've had a further two completed registrations bringing the officially registered total to 63.

We now have a new leader in the "most northerly" Global swimarathon entrant thanks to the East Sutherland Rotary Club joining us in the Scottish Highlands. Only 11300 miles from Rotary Club of Karori ,New Zealand - it's  synchronized swimming on an implausibly global scale!! Thanks to Alisdair Miller for completing the registration. We are also delighted to confirm our 3rd entry from Egypt, as the Rotary Club of Heliopolis El-Golf has just registered thanks to Suzy Ibrahim.

Just been doing another google search for "Rotary Global Swimarathon" and found thousands of page entries - web articles, blogs, newspaper articles, newsletters - its just remarkable how quickly word is spreading.

Why not take a look yourself!!

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

One Month to Go!

30 days to go. 

This morning I joined our Swimarathon chair Roger Graves at the Grantham Meres Leisure Centre the home of Grantham Swimarathon and soon to be centre stage in the Global Swimarathon.

Standing outside freezing cold in our Global Swimarathon t-shirts, like a couple of silly school boys clutching our inflatable globe, as our picture was taken for the local paper the Grantham Journal, couldn't help but think of all the amazing events that will be happening in exactly a month's time. Could this funky space age looking late 80s creation, really be the Pool that finally Ended Polio!?

No time for glamour shoots for us though , Hello magazine will have to wait! Brilliant to get even more signups with the Rotary Club of Redwing Minnesota becoming the 7th USA club and helping us achieve a magnificent 60 clubs officially registered.

Then in this very special Olympic year for our capital city , we got the news that the Rotaract Club of Westminster had formally registered and will be staging a Swimarathon in partnership with the Rotary Club of London - London's oldest Rotary Club which last year celebrated it's 100th year and is club number 50 in the worldwide list.

So Roger says to me - can we get the London Olympic pool next? We can all dream!!

Been brilliant gathering in the details from around the world about the local events. As I mentioned yesterday we look absolutely certain to break the world record, bearing in mind the first 12 clubs to estimate participants have come up with a total of 4000 swimmers between them!!

Please keep the information coming in, and please keep on promoting your participation within your local area  and districts - just like me and Roger this morning  - we really have got the whole world in our hands!!

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

What an incredible year!

31 days to go. Please forgive me , this small personal indulgence, but today marks a very special anniversary in my own Rotary journey.

It's exactly 1 year to the day, that I was inducted as the newest member of the Rotary Club of Grantham.

As I'm now a very proud member of the Rotary Global History Fellowship  (and by the way if anyone out there in the North and Midlands of the UK would like to join up with us I'm also now the board member for Zone 17), I've delved into the club archives and dusted off my induction video above.

Just days after my induction I was able to attend and take part in my first ever Rotary Swimarathon. Over that long weekend in early February, I experienced first hand the incredible power of charity fundraising events to bring communities together, the amazing commitment of the whole club to supporting everyone, and the feeling of enormous satisfaction that I'd joined a group of people who really could make a difference.

Following on from swimarathon, I've had a brilliant range of opportunities to get involved with the club serving on the membership committee sharing my ideas on using social media to bring in new people, taking on the role of deputy chair of the new generations committee, and getting stuck into all the varied activities within the club from assisting with interviewing practice in schools to taking part in fundraising events.

I've fitted all that and much more into my life on the road as an IT consultant. Because the wonderful thing about the social media world as I discovered when I joined up with the Rotary Social Networking Fellowship, is that the Rotary fellowship you get within the clubs, is something you can connect in with all around the world.  So on those nights away from my family in dreary hotel rooms , there were  always people out there willing to share our event ideas and plans.

Through those friendships, that sense of pride in belonging, I was offered the opportunity to join the Rotary Global History fellowship and was deeply honoured to be asked by its founder and CEO Jack Selway. I simply can't thank him enough along with so many of the senior team in the fellowship who since December have helped once again lift our event to new levels by actively encouraging and promoting our event and club participation

I could never have imagined when I first tentatively set up a facebook page, added a few friends and contacts, how Rotary and the Rotary Global Swimarathon event would open up an entirely global community of active, inspiring and  just brilliant friends.

To make a difference in our local communities, to make a difference in the wider world - it's something we all aspire to. Well one year in I can say it loud and proud - the family of Rotary have made my dreams come true  and gone beyond even my wildest expectations.

Here we are today - with a month to go - and with 3 new signups again today including a 2nd entry in Canada from the Rotary Club of Toronto Earslcourt, and 2 new entries in the UK from Rotary Club of Melton Mowbray and the Rotary Club of Yate taking the RIBI entries to 25 the sheer scale of the event is really beginning to sink in. We now have 59 clubs officially registered and with definite interest from an Interact and even a Earlyact (9-12 year olds) club in Pakistan to take part along with another Rotary club there, every day we are writing a new page of history.

We're still gathering in the event details from around the globe , but suffice to say that preliminary calculations suggest that we will have at least 12,000 SWIMMERS taking part and raise in excess of £90,000!

Finally I'd like to share with you our very first attempt at a video to promote the event , presented by our very own swimarathon chairman and all round human dynamo Roger Graves. As an RGHF fellow I definitely do know that Rotary day is 23rd February , but our event falling on the nearest Saturday to that 107th year of history will be an incredible way to round off our Thanks for Life week.

I've only been a Rotarian for 1 of those 107 years, but one thing is for sure,

 I want to  be a Rotarian for the rest of my days!!

Monday, 23 January 2012

Please tell us all about your event plans!

32 days to go. We've reached a wonderful stage now where new entries and new interest are coming in from all corners of the globe, in a constant stream of updates. Just yesterday afternoon after I'd finished my blog entry, our 56th club registered came in via Brett Culpin of the Rotary Club of Melton Aurora in our home District 1070, the 3rd entry in the space of a few hours.

In the next few hours we'll send out our 5 weeks to go news email to all the participating clubs and attached to it will be a spreadsheet outlining the local details of each event. For all of you reading this who are entered, we'd love to get an update on the following:

Location of event: Name and address of pool / open water venue
Local Time of WR swim : Just to check we all have the right time agreed
Number of Swimmers expected : So that we can track where we are in terms of the World Record numbers
Event Duration : -Many events will include additional activities spanning a few hours
Fundraising target : An estimate of how much you are aiming to raise (in local currency is fine)
Other event information : Do you have any special guests, extra swimming events, other fundraisers on the day/night eg food, raffles, street collections.

As soon as we get the information we will of course share it on our world wide map of entrants  - here's what we have so far on the map

Finally just want to give a huge shoutout and say a massive thankyou to all the girls in the Team GB Olympic Water Polo Team. As we've mentioned here before, we met them all up at the Swimtastic awards in November, and have followed their progress ever since. Even though because of training requirements they won't be able to take part on the day of 25th February, they've very generously offered to donate our club tshirts, signed photos and even a cuddly bear mascot for us to include in our special End Polio Now auction we are planning. They are also definitely up for taking part in the future. All I can say is , it makes me immensely proud to be able to consider myself a supporter of these brilliant Olympians. For me they represent everything that's right about sport. They are improving day by day, taking on the best in Europe and the World, utterly dedicated to their goal of Olympic achievement. Just as we Rotarians are so determined , so incredibly committed to seeing the End of Polio. It's just magical when we can bring these two worlds together. Please join us in supporting these fantastic ambassadors for their sport on twitter at  Thanks!!

Sunday, 22 January 2012

100 clubs means 100s of £1000s for End Polio Now!

33 days to go. Take a look at the End Polio Now "totaliser" on the right of this page. $200million achieved - (as of 17th January was an astounding $202.7million raised by Rotary around the world).

An amazing achievement, but we all know there is much more work to be done until we can finally say that Polio is no more.

Thinking about my own personal challenge I've set myself around swimarathon, which is to raise £2012 in this Olympic year to be split between End Polio Now and local Grantham Charities I'm very happy to say that I'm off to a great start with £162 raised so far (all new donations always welcome!).

That got me thinking that in terms of the enormous potential for fundraising from the Rotary Global Swimarathon. If just 99 other Rotarian members / friends were able to raise £1000 each - that would raise an incredible £100,000.

Now let's look at where we are now. As of tonight, thanks to two more official registrations today from Madhumita Bishnu of the Rotary Club of Calcutta Uptown in India and BJ Metz of the Rotary Club of Easton Philadelphia USA we already have 55 clubs fully signed up for Global Swimarathon. The early estimates of people taking part in each event average at around 200 people per club. With all the additional fundraising activities built into those events , it would be a fair estimate to say that on average each will be likely to raise £1000-£2000. So between the clubs we already have taking part £100,000 seems entirely achievable.

The wonderful thing is there is really no limit to how many clubs can join us -even at this relatively late stage, events can be kept simple, really all that's needed is a swimming venue , at least 25 people available at the right time of day and your club can be a part of it.

This week we are going all out to get more sign ups. Thanks to some fantastic campaigning by Rotarians out there, most notably from my good friend Susanne Rea in District 9550 who has been phenomenally committed to putting the word out and has helped us get new interest from as far away as Nigeria and Pakistan as well as other clubs in Australia, we really have some incredible momentum going into this week.

The wider world are certainly starting to take note as well. We've got contacts set up here in the UK with Sky Sports News the nationally recognised number 1 sports news channel , British swimming have been retweeting about our event to their many thousands of followers, and earlier this week, US movie legend Mia Farrow gave our event a special mention in her tweets to over 28,000 followers.

Our swimarathon chair Roger Graves (featured in the video above) has now set up on twitter you can follow on and I know he can't wait to help take on the challenge of getting us to 100 clubs signed up. We'll be sending out our latest news update via email to all of the confirmed entrants on Monday so please look out for that. This week we really want to start building up our global map so that not only all the clubs are featured, but the precise venues, the number of swimmers and the fundraising amount raised.

Then we'll create our own version of the totaliser on the right. Our club has already raised £300 for the cause so that'll start us off nicely, but I firmly believe that together we can go well beyond £100,000 and at the same time , share something unique with the wider world. A global swimming event on this scale has never been done before - until now....

Saturday, 21 January 2012

A lasting legacy of swimarathons all over the world!

34 days to go. In exactly 2 weeks time, hundreds of swimmers young and old will be descending on our local Grantham Meres leisure centre to take part in our annual swimarathon event. Don't panic, we're not starting global swimarathon event early - there's still 5 weeks to go on that front!

From the afternoon of Friday 3rd of February until late afternoon on Sunday 5th, the whole pool is completely given over to Swimarathon. Over 1400 people will swim, at least 60% of which are under 16, thanks to the fantastic support of local schools and community clubs. Our entire 50 strong Rotary club, plus Inner wheel members, members of our evening club will be there to click every single lane, register , announce, organize , entertain. We all love doing it so much, the atmosphere of good will and excitement is really intoxicating. We have ongoing corporate sponsorship support of several local businesses, which means that all of the admin costs are completely covered and every single penny raised goes direct to local good causes.

 The truly magical thing is, the event is very much woven into the fabric of the town -it is by far and away the biggest annual fundraiser in our local area, and its popularity and reputation has just grown and grown.

Please watch this video -it really tells it's own story. Do look out for our ever energetic Swimarathon chair Roger Graves giving you a behind the scenes access all areas tour.

We'll keep you posted on all this year's swimarathon event action. On Friday afternoon we are excited to be welcoming none other than RIBI President Ray Burman to open proceedings and with a special Olympic theme in place, we are all set to make this the biggest and best event ever.

It is in all of our interests to raise the profile of Rotary clubs in our local towns and cities, and a swimarathon event really does have all the special ingredients, of a fun filled, family centred event to bring people together.

It's also a brilliant way to find new members. One of our newest members, recently said that what finally convinced him to join our club was swimarathon. As chair of his local village committee, he attended our annual charity presentation night, where over 50 local causes apply for and receive grants from the Swimarathon fund. Rotary in action, Rotary in the community.

Wonderful to think that through Global Swimarathon, the seeds are now sown for at least another 50 Swimarathon events to become established around the world - we can all share our experiences and ideas and grow them together - how amazing is that!!

Friday, 20 January 2012

Same time - very different places:)

35 days to go. I've been adding a few more details into our global participants map and one of the things that has struck me is the amazing range of local event times for the 1 hour world record attempt.

So here is Paul's mini-guide to who's swimming when - please do let me know if I've made any errors - those time zones can get awfully confusing. On our Facebook page the other day, a contact  in South Africa (I won't mention the name) posted that they would be taking part from 10am to 11am. I double checked and discovered that South Africa is actually 2 hours in front of UK time so they would need to swim between 2pm and 3pm in the afternoon. Luckily once he'd discovered this they were able to change the event to the right time (just before all the fliers were due to go out!)

OK let's salute our 4 earliest risers first:


  •  Rotary Club of Hutt Valley 9940 New Zealand Joanna Newlove
  • Rotary Club of Feilding 9940 New Zealand Ngaire Leins
  • Rotary Club of Matamata 9930 New Zealand Don Stanley  
  • Rotary Club of Karori 9940 New Zealand Howard Tong / Michael Fagg 
 Then it's a relative lie in for these 2 :
  • Rotary Club of San Diego 5340 USA William Newbern
  • Rotary Club of La Jolla Sunrise 5340 USA Barbara Held
0600-0700 - early start for :

  • Rotary Club of Greenhills 6760 USA Beth Matter
0700-0800 - breakfast club

  • Rotary Club of Kingston 7040 Canada Lucille Davies W.J Henderson Recreation Centre Pool
  • Toronto Earls Court Rotary Club Canada Pauline Nottall , Doralice Ferreira
  • Rotary Club of Lake Placid 7040 USA Robert Hanna
  • Rotary Club of Midtown Atlanta 6900 USA Tom Underwood

0900-1000 - mid morning
  • Rotary Club of San Rafael Argentina Mariano Egea
1200-1300 - The Greenwich Mean Team
  • Rotary Club of Grantham 1070 UK Roger Graves Grantham Meres Pool
  • Rotary Club of Worsley 1280 UK Aled Owen
  • Rotary Club of Aberdeen 1010 UK Peter Carry
  • Rotary Club of Brampton and Longtown 1190 UK Kevin Walsh The Pools , Carslisle
  • Rotary Club of Shepshed 1070 UK Robert Hall
  • Rotary Club of Mawwdach 1180 UK Beryl Clark
  • Rotary Club of Petersfield 1110 UK Lawrence Tristam
  • Rotary Club of Sleaford 1070 UK John Scott
  • Rotary Club of Knaresborough 1040 UK Sarah Bosomworth
  • Rotary Club of South Holland 1070 UK David Walters
  • Rotary Club of St Ives 1070 UK David Cole
  • Rotary Club of Grantham Kesteven 1070 UK Marion Strange
  • Rotary Club of Wareham 1110 UK David King
  • Rotary Club of Ashby De la zouch castle 1070 UK Tony Evans
  • Rotary Club of Alnwick 1030 UK Marion Long
  • Rotary Club of Waterford 1030 Ireland Kjell Nolke / Donal Buckley
  • Rotary Club of Newark Castle 1220 UK Dave Strange
  • Rotary Club of Peterborough Werrington 1070 UK Graham Walker
  • Rotary Club of Ramsey 1280 UK Peter Whiteaway
  • Rotary Club of Deepings 1070 UK Peter Hibbins
  • Rotary Club of Melton Mowbray Belvoir 1070 UK David Sharp
  • Rotary Club of Polmont 1020 UK Ken Donald
1400-1500 - African afternoon
  • Rotary Club of Mafikeng 9400 South Africa Trevor Watson-Thomas
  • Rotary Club of Port Elizabeth South 9320 South Africa Noelene Jorgensen
  • Rotary Club of East London Sunrise 9320 South Africa Sheryl Maastrecht/ Butch Coetzee
  • Rotary Club of Jeffrey's Bay 9320 South Africa Carina De Flamingh
  • Rotary Club of El Tahrir 2450 Egypt Nevine Abdelkhalek
  • Rotary Club of Middelburg South Africa Mariette Stapelberg
1500-1600-  African late afternoon
  • Rotary Club of Nairobi 9200 Kenya David Hastie

  1700 - 1800 - Pakistan tea time
  • Rotary Club of Faisalabad City 3272 Pakistan Mubashar Butt
1730- 1830 - India tea time
  • Rotary Club of Thane Suburban 3140 India Smriti Gulwady
  • Rotary Club of Salem Midtown 2980 India Balasubramaniam SP
  • Rotary Club of Salem Central 2980 India Vasu Rajaram
  • Rotary Club of Hubli West 3170 India Satish Rao
  • Rotary Club of Sawantwadi 3170 India Jayprakash Walke
2000-2100 - Supper time 3
  • Rotary Club of Kwinana 9465 Australia James Sharkey 2000-2100
  • Rotary Club of Zamboanga City 3850 Phillipines Riki Lim
  • Rotary Club of Talisay-Cebu 3860 Phillipines April Dequito
2130-2230 - Outback time
  • Rotary Club of Tennant Creek 9950 Australia Greg Marlow Tennant Creek Pool  

2200-2300 - Late night party time
  • Rotary Club of Townsville Daybreak 9950 Australia Marcel McCleod
  • Rotary Club of Mareeba 9950 Australia Ida Portella
  • Rotary Club of Atherton 9950 Australia Kay Eccleshare
  • Rotary Club of Cairns Sunrise 9950 Australia Daniel Hubner

  Overall we have 13 very different times of day -what a remarkable collective example of unity that is. All of us with one purpose -to swim for End Polio Now - utterly inspiring!
I can't wait to get all the footage from all the different events and put a montage together. And of course we're far from done yet with the signups -why not register your club today at - we've always got time for you!!

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Everyone's talking about Rotary Global Swimarathon!

36 days to go. Great news of positive interest from a 2nd Rotary Club in Pakistan and their local interact club, excited to hear that Rotaract Westminster have now confirmed a pool  which means that they are on the verge of registering as the first Rotaract entry in the 2012 Olympic city of London. (With Atlanta and Lake Placid in the USA that's 3 Olympic cities all together!)

Been reflecting on just how we have communicated details of the event around the world today, and just how things have grown beyond we ever could have imagined.

 On Facebook, we created the fanpage back in May time, and I well remember being so excited when we had our first 10 page Likes. Today there are some 309 people who've Liked the page and are following our updates, and I particularly like to see the "people" talking about this number which keeps on rising by the day. In terms of daily page impressions and views we'd reached well a potential audience over a half a million the last time I looked. Over on twitter, we're up to over 2000 tweets, and have built up a following of over 600. With more than 10 separate Retweets by Rotary International to their 120,000 followers, cumulatively our tweets have been visible to more than 1,500,000 people.

I would estimate that in addition to the 52 clubs we have confirmed and registered today, over the entire period we have had positive enquiries and interest from well over 150 clubs worldwide. Well over 1000 emails have been sent on the subject of Rotary Global Swimarathon.

But for me the really amazing part, is the legacy of all of this. That when we say 52 clubs in 15 countries, that is 52 unique and brand new fundraising events created, every single one of which has the potential to grow and become established as an annual fixture, just like our own Grantham Swimarathon that is in its 23rd year.

Those 52 contacts have in turn gathered together their fellow club members, they are going out into their communities and publicising those events, getting in touch with swimming clubs, with schools , finding swimming enthusiasts of all ages and abilities.

I logged on to write up this blog tonight and let me show you the first thing I saw in my following list. PDG Howard Tong who registered Rotary Karori yesterday is continuing to promote the event across the region

Just look at this fantastic event poster from the Rotary Club of Hutt Valley. Over 11,000 miles away from where I sit now, swimming so much on a different time zone they are actually taking part on Sunday 26th February. The photographs, the video footage, the human stories that will be shared by all of us as we bring together the world of Rotary on that 1 day , in that 1 hour, will be something to treasure for a lifetime.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Incredible milestones in the campaign to End Polio Now!

37 days to go. Yesterday was a hugely significant day in Rotary's continuing fight to End Polio Now . In case you missed the announcement  Rotary achieve $200 million target - the news came in that with nearly 6 months to go Rotary clubs worldwide had raised the $200 million pounds needed to secure a matching grant from the Bill Gates foundation of $355 million. Even better news was that Bill Gates has pledged an additional $50 million of funding as a further thankyou!

For our event, we achieved a milestone we would never have imagined possible when we started this adventure 12 months ago. We now have more than 50 clubs officially registered to take part worldwide! In the space of 1 minute earlier today we received completed sign up number 50 from our very own District 1070 by Graham Walker of Peterborough Werrington. Swiftly followed by Rotary Club of Karori D9940 in Wellington New Zealand thanks to PDG Howard Tong. Just a few minutes ago we had a 3rd sign up of the day and a 5th entry from the USA overall from the Rotary Club of Midtown Atlanta, thanks to Tom Underwood.

Looks like I'm definitely not going to be the only one poolside on 25th February 2012  - Thank you so much!

Let's push on now for the 100 club sign up milestone - I know we can do it!!

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

A new video to make event website registration even easier!

38 Days to go. Thanks to Ken Donald of the Rotary Club of Polmont, District 1020 , Scotland, our second entry from Scotland and the first from this District, we are now have 49 clubs officially registered for the event.
To help ensure that everyone has as smooth a sign up experience as possible, as of today we've added a new video specifically to guide everyone through the registration process. Yes those of you who may have heard my podcast yesterday, you have yet another chance to enjoy the delights of my voice!!

Just click on the full screen or watch on youtube link and you should be able to see it in all it's "glory"

One final thought for today -  Rotary Club of Polmont are now officially the 2nd most Northern entry in Global Swimarathon. For a bit of fun, we've had a look using googlemap to see what the distance is between the most northerly - Aberdeen, and the most Southernly - Hutt Valley in New Zealand.

You know what - it's 11328 miles!! - Just underlines once again what a truly incredible event this is. That clubs so far apart in Geographical terms can all be so united in one goal - END POLIO NOW

Monday, 16 January 2012

The 1st Rotary Global Swimarathon worldwide Podcast!

39 days to go. Today marks the launch of our week long publicity campaign to try and reach every corner of the globe and share our story with every conceivable media outlet in the process.

Wonderful to see the Rotary Club of Faisalabad City one of the newest clubs in Pakistan as our 48th official registration and the 15th country now represented. As one of the few remaining countries where cases of Polio are still being discovered, it is particularly heartening to receive this entry and we are very grateful for Rotary Regional secretary and Polio Plus commitee member Mubashar Butt for registering his club.

Closing in very rapidly on 50 clubs officially registered. There are 2 new sign ups imminent in D9550 for Kurunda and Mossman Rotary clubs completing an astounding full house of all 7 Rotary Clubs registered for Global Swimarathon for Assistant District Governor Ida Portella in D9550 - huge credit also to Susanne Rea and Marcel Mcleod - extraordinary work from all of you. Added to that we expect to confirm Rotaract clubs in Romania and China as well as many more new enquiries being received every day.

Now as some of you will know, I've been actively campaigning and drumming up interest for Rotary Global Swimarathon for several months now and it occurs to me that for all the messaging and sharing, for all the emails and posts, nearly every single person who has supported us on this journey has never even spoken to me in person (except Susanne who I managed to meet in London!!)

Well thanks to the efforts of Chad Waldo of the Lee Summit Sunrise Rotary in D6040 , Missouri , USA , who via his  has set up a global podcasting service to spread news of Rotary projects around the world , here's your chance to hear my less than elegant vocal tones in action!

Last week we got together via skype link and here's the results - please do listen and share with your contacts - in the spirit of media and communications week, we need your help to spread this message as far and wide as it can possibly go!!

Here's the podcast file directly or you can go to the website, click on the show 19 - swimawhat link and listen in - any standard media player should be able to play it.

Thanks for listening as well as reading - here's to those 50 clubs by tommorow!!

It's particularly good timing for this media publicity week that thanks to the great efforts of Chad Waldo of the Lee Sunrise

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Rotary Global Swimarathon - bringing the world together!!

40 days to go. A few days ago I wrote about an extraordinary coincidence , where Janet Mills who'd left Grantham 11 years ago, discovered from her Rotarian Travel Agent Ida Portella in Mareeba , Queensland that Mareeba would be joining in the Global Swimarathon. So wonderful to have a representative of our town , who's attended our local swimarathon events all those 1000s of miles away on the day.

Well my friends, it seems that the laws of chance have smiled on us once again!
Just speaking with Barry Phillips of the New Generations committee in our club today, and one of the original organizers of our very first event back in 1990. He was saying that unfortunately he's away on holiday on the day of the Global Swimarathon.

Turns out he'll be in Kenya, and more specifically it turns out he'll be in Nairobi, Kenya on the 25th February 2012

Well now, a few weeks back, thanks to the efforts of David Hastie, the Rotary Club of Nairobi officially registered for the event!

So, not only do we have Grantham represented Australia, we now have the opportunity for one of our very own club members to join in whilst all the way over in Kenya (assuming he remembers to pack bathing trunks!!)

Just shows how truly global the event has become - really, anything is possible

In the coming weeks and days, let's work together to get many more clubs signed up, and let us show the world just how remarkable the Rotary family really is.....

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Guinness World Record here we come!

41 days to go. Can't tell you how fantastic it is to hear about all the different local events being planned around the world for Global Swimarathon. Have been doing some quick calculations around how many swimmers we can expect for the record attempt. As I've said before, we're inviting 500 swimmers to our Grantham Meres event. Elsewhere in the UK we've already had a figure of 240 swimmers for the 4 Peterborough clubs and 200 swimmers expected at the Knaresborough event. Add that to a figure of 60 given from the Rotary Club of Sawantwadi last night, just before they celebrated charter night on the very day India was declared Polio free for a full year, and there's 1000 swimmers already.

Now over in District 9550 Australia, the Rotary Club of Townsville , led by President Marcel McCleod are really leading the way. Not only have they brought us legendary open water swimmer marathon superstar Penny Palfrey, they have managed to book up just about every pool in the town. Get this - they are planning to have 1000 swimmers taking part!!

So there you go - 2000 swimmers in just 5 clubs. With Melton Mowbray Rotary confirmation earlier today we already have 47 clubs officially entered. The current record stands at 2533. With an average entry expected of 100 per club I genuinely believe we could be looking at between 10 and 20 thousand swimmers  - what an incredible message of unity and determination to End Polio Now!!

It's no longer a question of CAN WE BREAK THE RECORD? its simply a question of BY HOW MUCH!!

With 3 weeks to go to our own Rotary Grantham Swimarathon weekend, last night I headed down for a swimming session. I've set myself a personal goal of raising £2012 , swimming 201.2 lengths over the weekend, doing the 100 metres in Global Swimarathon and finally the Great North Swim Open Water event in Lake Windermere , Cumbria in June.

There I was, last session of the day, in that 25 metre, 8 lane pool, swimming on my own. The thought of this quiet , empty  pool, about to be transformed into centre stage for so many thousands of people , raising so many thousands , maybe even hundreds of thousands for such an incredible cause -just takes the breath away


Friday, 13 January 2012

50 confirmed clubs a terrific milestone!

42 days to go. Here we are then , just over 6 weeks until we all line up together to swim for End Polio Now.
To demonstrate the true potential for widespread club participation, in the space of around 2 hours yesterday afternoon UK time, we had no less than 4 separate sign ups and one other attempted registration!

First we were joined by the Rotary Club of Ramsey , District 1280, located on the Isle of Man here in the UK, thanks to Peter Whiteway. Swiftly followed by 2 sign ups from Rotary Clubs in Peterborough District 1070. As I mentioned in my blog entry a couple of days ago, in actual fact there are 4 separate Rotary Clubs combining to stage the event, all being co-ordinated by our District Communications chair Graham Walker. Great to see Rotary Club of Deepings listed as a club entry and Rotary Club of Peterborough Werrington listed in the World Record attempt.

Next came an entry from further afield - a most welcome 4th sign up from the United States from Robert Hanna of the Rotary Club of Lake Placid - now there's a famous name from Olympic history!!

Adding in other clubs around the world that we know are definitely taking part but for whatever reason have not yet completed registration and we have well and truly achieved the 50 club markGlobal Entrants Map latest

As I mentioned, we were contacted by Chris Watts from the Rotary Club of Brackley about an issue he had during sign up. 

The error in question is something that has come up before so it's probably worth me explaining the cause and resolution here once again to avoid others having the same issue.

Basically if you go straight to the website, and look at the links on the left side of the front page - you will see a link "Enter your club " under event so the temptation is to go straight to that link. If you look closely at the error message details on screen, you will see the cause - you need to be logged on

For website security reasons, only users who have created an account and logged on to the website will be able to enter their details. 

If you look at the "Start here" section at the top of the page, it has step by step easy to follow instructions listed out for you.

In summary 

1. Go to Member Login - select create a user - enter user name and password and email
2. Check email - click on the link in email , then log in with user name and password you created
3. Go to "The Event" select "enter your club" and fill in the details
4. Go to "Guinness World Record - click on "enter your club for the record" and fill in the details

Steps 1 -4 should take no more than 5 minutes to complete , and that official registration completion, means that we are notified via email automatically and can send you the event information pack.

Any problems encountered, any time of day or night - please drop us a note to or contact us on the facebook page at and we'll be happy to help you sort it out

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Connections everywhere in the big old Rotary family!

43 days to go .  Absolutely delighted to see that our daily updates are starting to pick up significant page views -thanks so much for all of you who continue to share on Facebook and Retweet - it really does make a huge difference.

Proud to announce we have just received our 44th official entry, from the Rotary Club of Ramsey in the Isle of Man District 1280. Great to see the Isle of Man represented - our club President Peter Berry 2011/12  (of the Rotary Club of Grantham) will be especially delighted as he was born there!! Many thanks to Peter Whiteway for completing the registration.

Another absolutely  brilliant story from today is the news that the Toronto Earls Court Rotary club have confirmed they will be taking part, all set to be the second confirmed entry from Canada. What's particularly great about this , is that a few weeks ago I was contacted by Past District Governor of  D6330 in Canada Tanya Wolff who said that she very much wanted to take part in our event but would be in Toronto on that day. To try and identify a club in the area, I put out a request on our twitter feed. After a little while and some Retweets, Gordon Crann , chair of the  Rotary District 7070 World Community Service Committee in Toronto got in touch with us via twitter asking if he could help. I sent him the details and immediately he sent out to all of his contacts in the area. 

Then just this morning I got the confirmation that he'd found a club ready to take part. I sent out a note to let Tanya know, and he put us both in email touch with President Pauline Nuttall and Doralice Ferreira of the club. 

What an amazing example of Service above self and of Rotarians such as Gordon prepared to go the extra mile and a half to connect us all together . Just like this whole wonderful journey so far, it is so magical to experience all this Fellowship on a truly international scale. Proud to be a Rotarian - 100% YES!

Here's the latest map with today's additions

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Heartfelt Thankyous for everyone that's helped us along the way PART II!

44 days to go. After a frenzy of sign up activity yesterday its calmed down a little which gives me time to continue with my story of the event so far and the huge thank yous that are very much due to some very key people.

Certainly plenty of activity going on though all the same - last night I spoke with our 1070 District Chair about a Peterborough Rotary Global Swimarathon event, and I'm very pleased to share that there are no fewer than 4 separate Rotary clubs there combining together to take part in the event - and none of them are on the official registration radar just yet . Coupled with new interest from Rotaract clubs in Romania, and news of 2 more clubs in District 9550 - Susanne Rea , Ida Portella, Marcel McLeod - you are doing a wonderful job in spreading the word!!, looks like we are more than on track for reaching 50 clubs entered by the end of this week.

As I said though today's post is about sharing some more of this fantastic journey into unchartered Global Rotary territory and acknowledging the amazing contributions of so many people who've helped us along the way.

Back in October, Roger Graves was given a prime speakers slot at our District 1070 conference, just prior to the main speaker the one and only Anne Widdecombe. He did an amazing job in pitching the event, and coupled with stunning video footage provided by Gordon Seabrook who unbelievably does all of our Swimarathon footage at no charge, we soon had a powerful message to share with clubs all around the world.

Here in the UK, there was a lot of RIBI social media activity around the #WorldPolioDay campaign, through working on that, we became in regular contact with District 1140 Governor Mukesh Malotra. His constant campaigning on our behalf and for the End Polio Now campaign made a huge difference in terms of attracting followers and attention. Despite a serious illness set back towards the end of the year from which I'm very pleased to say he is gradually recovering , he is still incredibly supportive to us.

During that twittering #rotaryendpolio campaign, I really enjoyed working with Sarah Bosomworth - another fairly new Rotarian from the Rotary Club of Knaresborough. I was really impressed by her efforts to get our message out there, and she very quickly took on the challenge of pitching the Global Swimarathon to her club. She completely refused to let any setbacks stand in the way and get an event set up and her determination made me have no hesitation in commiting to join her in taking part in the June 2012 Great North open water swim for End Polio Now.

On twitter, we had attempted to get in touch with various swimmers in our search for a UK ambassador. We were extremely delighted to be followed back by Fran Williamson, a recently retired Paralympic and 5 time world champion swimmer. But what really struck us on reading her blog info was how committed she was to supporting charities -including support for local Cambridge charities and her role as ambassador for @whizzkidz a brilliant national charity to help kids with mobility issues. Fran was very supportive of our initial enquiry and put us in touch with her agent (and partner) Chris Whitaker. Right from the first conversation with Chris I knew we'd found our ambassador. Both of them were really passionate about what they do, about supporting charities and making a difference. Its been such a pleasure working with them ever since I can't tell you. We met them both in person up at the Disabilty Sports Events England National Swimming short course championships up in Sheffield in November and they were just the nicest, most down-to-earth people you could ever meet.

We had another special trip to Sheffield back in early November. Our Swimarathon Chairman - and I'll get to the thanks for him in another separate blog - he truly deserves it - was nominated for Fundraiser of the year by the National ASA governing body of swimming , and we were guests at the Swimtastic awards 2011.

What an incredible day we had I'll never forget it. Along with all the other award nominees , ordinary every day swimmers of all ages from the length and breadth of the land , we spent an afternoon "swimming with the stars" - including the whole team GB waterpolo ladies olympic squad, Divers, synchronized swimmers , Junior , Olympic and Paralympic swimmers. As a life-long sports fan I was completely star struck - but what was most striking was just how friendly and approachable everyone was. Naturally we brought the Global Swimarathon tshirts along for signatures, but what was great was just how interested everyone was in the event. The Team GB Waterpolo ladies, including ex Grantham player Vickie Bowen, Angie Winstanley Smith and many others all said they'd be up for taking part even though they were likely to be in Australia. We also met Claire Cashmore, a Leeds based swimmer and friend of Fran Williamson, who said her Dad was in Rotary and she'd love to help - she certainly did that - she's now special guest at the Knaresborough event - told you Sarah was good at organizing it!!

Roger actually won the special achievement award in recognition of 22 years raising £500,000 for local causes - just wonderful. Here's the moment captured on my dodgy camera video, introduced by swimming legend Steve Parry

To be continued in Part III coming soon!

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Incredibly proud to share this message from our RI President

45 days to go. What an amazing day all round!

This morning opened my Inbox to see that we had received a special message from Rotary International President Kalyan Banerjee - naturally it now has pride of place on the quotes section of our website

Thanks to the support of Jack Selway, CEO and founder of the inspiring worldwide Rotary Global History Fellowship and his executive board members Prakash Sarasawat and Nevine Abdelkhalek, we had 3 more club sign ups today in fairly rapid succession.

The first of which  appropriately enough was from a club in District 3170 India, especially symbolic given that  India has just  achieved a full year Polio free. A second sign up in District 3170 followed shortly afterwards, and then a brand new country represented as Nevine Abdelkhalek of the Rotary Club of El Tahrir in Egypt.

I also received encouraging confirmation from Ellen Yu of the Rotaract club of Shanghai that they are definitely taking part.

To cap it all, this afternoon, I had a great chat via Skype with Chad Waldo, from the Rotary club of Lee Sunrise in D6040 USA, who has set up a fantastic Podcast service to broadcast project news to clubs around the world . Check it out for yourself at http://itsrotary . Hopefully our conversation about Global Swimarathon will be ready and shareable on podcast by Sunday 15th January - will be sure to keep you informed. Reaching an audience of 500-600 Rotarians each week, I'd encourage anyone with a project idea or event you want to publicize to talk to Chad - you can even connect with him on twitter at When I asked him about it yesterday he got in touch straight away and despite a few network gremlins at my end, remained patient and extremely helpful 

One final bit of good news is that RIBI have just released the 2nd nationwide press release about Global Swimarathon , so should be even more sign ups to come on a local RIBI level!

Only 7 more clubs to go till the next milestone of 50 - well on course to achieve that by the end of this week - the global map is looking more and more exciting by the day!! 

Monday, 9 January 2012

An Incredible Global community of swimmers united to End Polio Now!

46 days to go.

Another milestone reached, as we can announce our 40th full registered club taking part in the event.
The Rotary Club of Mawddach in District 1180 Wales, became our first entry from Wales, and our 17th overall in Great Britain and Ireland - many thanks to Rotarian Beryl Clark for registering your club.

We're reaching ever more countries as well - just today Ellen Yu from the Rotaract club of Shanghai, China confirmed that their club had voted to take part - so very much look forward to them joining the list.

Sometimes, rather than words, a simple picture will suffice. Here's a first draft map capturing all of the clubs signed up to date around the world - just wonderful to see it all here

View Rotary Global Swimarathon participants map

Sunday, 8 January 2012

It's a small world after all!

47 Days to go. 

A fantastic illustration today of how far Global Swimarathon has got in terms of spreading around the world. Today I received this message on our Rotary Club of Grantham facebook page

I left Grantham 11 years ago to live in Australia and recently moved to Mareeba in Far North Queensland. I`m not in Rotary but have been following the Swimarathon on facebook. I was so thrilled when I found that Mareeba are entering. I am very proud to tell anyone who will listen that I am from Grantham and remember and have supported the early swimarathons. Well done Grantham. I will be at the pool here on the day not swimming but supporting. 

Turns out that Janet was in a travel agent in Mareeba booking a trip back to Grantham, and the lady dealing with her (Ida Portella is it you?) was talking about Rotary and the subject of Swimarathon came up and how Mareeba were going to be joining in - amazing to think that someone from our town all those thousands of miles away will be able to "represent" Grantham at their event - just puts a huge smile on my face!!

It may be a big old world, but it really has been  made a lot smaller through the support and fellowship of the worldwide Rotary family!

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Heartfelt thankyou's for everyone that's helped us along the way - Part 1

48 Days to go. Today I just wanted to take a few moments to reflect and acknowledge the remarkable support of some key people in the Rotary and sporting communities that have transformed swimarathon from a local project with a dream into a wonderful worldwide charity event.

Back in April 2011, when we first set out to make contacts with the wider Rotary world, we set up a facebook presence and gradually started getting the message out there. We had some great help via Rotarian Simone Carat Collins chair of the recently founded Rotary on Social Networking Fellowship and all the members, which really helped us get established and build up some supporters.

Next big breakthrough was when Rotarian Noelene Jorgensen of Port Elizabeth Rotary in District 9320 South Africa, picked up news of her event - and wow did she run with it. As a keen swimmer herself , with lots of local contacts in the swimming community, she immediately went out and got a pool secured, and then set about spreading the word throughout her district. She even invited us to attend her District conference to speak about the event which unfortunately we were unable to attend. Her support has resulted in at least 4 South African clubs signing up to date , including 3 in her District.

Meanwhile over in Australia, Rotarian Susanne Rea, fundraising officer for The Rotary Foundation (TRF) in District 9550 Queensland , continued to spread the word about our project at every possible District opportunity, which resulted in an extraordinary breakthrough. Marcel McLeod President of Townsville Rotary, had been talking with legendary Open water marathon swimmer and distance world record holder Penny Palfrey (based in Townsville) about a swimming event for End Polio Now, and when Marcel and Penny heard about our project from Susanne, rather than seeing it as a conflicting project, they immediately embraced it and suggested that Penny could even be our first Global event ambassador. It was absolutely overwhelming for us back in the UK, to have such an international swimming star backing our event.

We've had so much amazing support from them both, Marcel has done a huge amount of work publicizing and producing the materials to support the event as effectively the International branch of our swimarathon committee, Penny has consistently taken time out of her amazingly busy schedule to record video messages, and brought us a huge new dimension of open water swimmers in Ireland, the US and all around the world lining up alongside us and working with local Rotary clubs. Susanne has just been unbelievable , continually championing our cause with the remarkable result of 5 District 9550 clubs signed up including her own, even though she can't be there on the day - I had the pleasure of meeting her in person during her recent London visit, just brilliant to see the friendships and fellowships formed from working on this event.

In August, during a visit to our club and District by RIBI President Ray Burman, we were delighted by his extremely positive reaction and support when we pitched our global swimarathon plans to him. Ever since he has continued to support us via his facebook page, and even highlighted our event first in his quarterly video message over the summer. He helped us secure the support of RIBI nationwide PR for Global Swimarathon and ever since we've been in touch with the fantastic head of PR Rebecca Warner it's made a huge difference with 3 nationwide press releases in December, Jan and Feb. To top it all during his District tour of District 1030 at end of February, he will be a the  Rotary Club of Knaresborough event as their special guest

While writing this, it's dawned on me that I can't possibly cover all the all in one post - so as they say in all the best stories - to be continued!!

One thing is for sure , particularly for me as a novice Rotarian, in my first ever year , the family of Rotary, the worldwide fellowship, the heart and dedication of its members to service above self is almost beyond words, and beyond measurement. It will stay with me all my life - of that I am sure!

Friday, 6 January 2012

Sharing great event ideas around the globe!

49 days to go and counting. As of this afternoon UK time we now have our 39th entry confirmed and registered from the Rotary Club of Alnwick in Northumberland. Plenty of other exciting activity going on today. Invited to send a mail to at Rotary International HQ, so did just that and here's hoping we can take the PR to another global level!

More great news on the UK front as RIBI have confirmed that the next event nationwide press release is due to  be published next Monday 9th January. Just this afternoon,  team GB olympic waterpolo ladies got in touch requesting more info on how they can get involved and take part , so that's another exciting development.

On the subject of event organisation, I've really been hugely impressed by the fantastic events being prepared and built around the Swimarathon World Record attempt hour.

Take for example these two Rotary clubs in Queensland Australia - this is my kind of pool party!!

Here's a few details - there's even a hush hush superstar swimmer being lined up which should be confirmed very soon

7.30pm  Gold coin donation to enter pool - Proceeds to END POLIO NOW -  Thanks to June who is not charging. BBQ and Bar - Proceeds from food and bar will go to the Mareeba Swimming Club to purchase a shade cloth for the pool - Rotary will run Bar and Food as a thank you to the swimming Club.
Entertainment - Waiting on confirmation from band suggested by June - No Charge -
 The following swimming events will be held, prior to the record event - there is obviously fees involved with the following events!
 1. Celebrity 50 meter Freestyle! -  local celebrities to take part in this race
2. Corporate 50 meter Medley Relay
 3.  Services 50 meter Medley Relay - Ida and Jeanette to follow up on this.
> Police Service - Confirmed - Organiser SGT Geoff Stockall Fire Brigade - Army Reserve - Rotary - Confirmed - Organiser - President Kevin Davies Ambulance - Lions - at 945PM sharp we will need to get all record swimmers ready so we can start at 10PM AEST sharp - The record will end at 11PM.
> We will close bar at midnight - Evening ends!

There are so many more great additional fundraising  ideas out there including street collections, tshirts, wristbands, corporate games, cupcakes, balloons, auctions, pre swim dinners - the list is endless - so one things for sure it's going to be a day to remember!!

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Start Spreading the news - 50 days to go!

Into the final 50 days of the countdown - pinch me I still must be dreaming!!

Just to underline the truly global nature of this event, I've just spent some time responding to questions from a journalist at the Mareeba Express newspaper in Queensland Australia!  We have had a phenomenal take up down-under (especially considering the time differences involved) with now 6 Australian and 3 New Zealand clubs confirmed as taking part.

What I really love doing at the moment is "googling" for Rotary Global Swimarathon and looking for new articles about the event- Try it yourself!!

Here's a selection of press and blog coverage - please take a look!!

Of course, we want to keep all the communication lines flowing around the world. If you are a twitterer, please use #rotaryglobalswim at every opportunity to talk about the event and please follow us and encourage others to do so at

Get in touch any time on our facebook page at

And send us an email at

Let's make this the biggest and best Rotary World Wide event ever!!

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Like a child on Christmas Morning!

51 days to go.

Well the Christmas holidays are behind us now, and new global Swimarathon enquiries are coming in thick and fast. Right now I feel exactly that amazing sense of anticipation and wonder as I did waking up on Christmas morning all those years ago.

In this case, substitute stockings for Inboxes and facebook pages, but you get the drift !!!

Yesterday alone, our twitter appeal for new followers went out to 120,000 twitter users thanks to Rotary International , which brought us brand new and very positive enquiries from Rotaract Shanghai in China, from Rotaract Westminster in London as well as dozens of new supporters.

Just this morning in the space of 30 minutes we had two new sign ups from District 9550 Australia clubs , taking the total of Australia and New Zealand participants to 9  out of the 38 clubs registered  - an incredible effort given the time zone differences involved.

So many exciting developments, so much happening - just like a certain man in a red suit, I can see we are going to be very busy on 25th - every boy and girl has been very good!!

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Great examples of local events for Global Swimarathon!

52 days to go!

For today's entry, I'd like to highlight a couple of clubs here in the UK who have worked extremely hard in preparing their participation in Global Swimarathon and to share with you some of their event plans.

Firstly the Rotary Club of Brampton and Longtown in Cumbria. Thanks to fantastic work by Kevin Walsh over the last few months, they have the very appropriately named "The Pools" venue booked in Carlisle, they are already actively recruiting participants and as you'll see in the article below they even have the "End Polio Now" message lighting up the town!

Across the other side of the UK, Sarah Bosomworth has also done a terrific job in getting the Rotary Club of Knaresborough, Yorkshire ready for the event. As well as securing a booking for all 8 lanes of the local Knaresborough pool, they will be joined by current UK Paralympic Swimmer Claire Cashmore and RIBI President Ray Burman amongst the many distinguished guests of honour.

Over the coming days and weeks, we'll be highlighting many more event details, and will share with you a full list of all the venues taking part around the globe - watch this space!

Monday, 2 January 2012

First Irish club registered / event news and updates

53 Days to go....

Just had confirmation thanks to the brilliant efforts of Irish Open Water legend Donal Buckley - check out his fantastic website at that the Rotary Club of Waterford D1063, Ireland have just become the 36th Club officially registered and the 11th country now represented - Here's the full list of entries

As well as those already fully signed up we continue to get multiple new enquiries on a daily basis from Rotary Clubs across the Globe so we're hoping the list of entries will rapidly expand to 100 or more by the end of this month!

Just take a look at some of the quotes and feedback we've had on the website

‎#Rotaryglobalswim - Just published a great selection of messages on what people are saying about the event around the world!

Here in the UK RIBI (Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland) are now centrally promoting the event to every club in the Country

 Sign up and dive in to save millions of children from polio:

We've even been featured in Rotary Down Under magazine - have a look on page 35

features a full page article (P35) on Penny Palfrey's incredible @EndpollioNow challenge and her support for Global Swimarathon - 50,000 readers - very exciting!!

Please please keep on spreading the word - talk to your club and get signed up if you can - be part of something amazing!!