Video about the event

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!

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

46 days to go - Our first E club registered!

Very quick update today, just to note that our 56th entry has come in from the Rotary Eclub of District 3170 India thanks to Lizette Oldfalk who's actually based in Texas . Just goes to prove the principle, you can arrange an event anytime, any place , anywhere

Brings us nicely to 175 clubs on the global map

Also to note that Greg Marlow from RC Tennants Creek in D9550 is attending District Rotary Foundation Training in San Diego USA next week and is going to pass on the message to all 530 Districts - so we can expect a lot more sign ups very soon!

Monday, 7 January 2013

47 days to go - 5 new registrations today- sign up week!

What a way to start the first full Rotary week of the New Year. Today I launched the first sign up week of 2013, and we've had no less than 5 club event entries in just 1 day taking the worldwide tally to 55 clubs in 34 districts and 15 countries.
A warm welcome to 2 new clubs RC Hitchin Mimram in D1260 England, and to RC Salem Cosmos in D2980 India, and a warm welcome back to RC Salem Midtown in D2980 and our first Interact registration this year from Interact Redwood in Pakistan D3272. In our local Grantham area Corby Glen Primary School have registered to join us to complete the 5. Let's try and keep that 5 a day momentum going!!

Please help us to keep spreading the key message. Whether its 1 swimmer or a 1000, whether in a paddling pool, a swimming pool, a Lake or the Ocean blue, if you are able to get some sponsorship and can swim at least 100 metres (can be assisted with floats etc) on 23 February 2013, then you are in!

All you need to do is spare a few minutes register your club or organization as per this video and we'll be in touch via email with all the details.

All you need to tell us is how many people swam and how much you raised plus a few details about when and where your event took place - that's it.

Within minutes of reading this you and your club could be part of the world's biggest 1 day annual fundraising swim - how about that for a healthy way to start the New Year!

Sunday, 6 January 2013

48 days to go - 50 clubs entered milestone!

Great way to end the first week of the New Year with the news that we now have 50 clubs registered on the website. No less that Rotary Club of Cairns Sunrise District 9550 home club of my good friend Susanne Rea , who I may have mentioned once or twice before for her outstanding contribution to getting the event on a world wide footing! -

One final reminder, tommorow 7th January is the last day you can vote for our RGS ambassador in India Moin Junnedi Please spare a moment to vote for him!

Saturday, 5 January 2013

49 days to go - 49 clubs registered!

Many thanks to Amir Zonic and the members of the Rotaract Club of Tuzla 99 who've once again signed up to Rotary Global Swimarathon in 2013 becoming our 49th club and 15th country represented.

A reminder again with 2 days of voting remaining please do vote for Moin Junnedi our event ambassador in India who has been nominated by his home town of Belgaum for citizen of the year - here's the voting link

So as we close in on getting more than 50 clubs registered, just wanted to take a moment to look at all the new clubs who've joined us this year

1. Rotary Club of Sharon PA D7280, USA
2. Rotary Club of Eadaoin Waller D6910, USA
3. Rotary Club of Blaby Meridien D1070, England
4. Rotary Club of Ramgarh D3250, India
5. Rotary Club of Hamilton D9600, Australia
6. Rotaract Club of Cairo Sunrise D2450, Egypt
7. Rotary Club of South Queensferry D1020, Scotland
8. Rotary Club of Leigh , D1280, England
9. Rotary Club of Papamoa , D9930, New Zealand
10. Rotary Club of Murwillumbah Central D9640, Australia
11. Rotary Club of Los Olivos D5240, USA
12. Rotary Club of Swindon North, D1100, UK
13. Rotaract Club of Oberberg, D1810, Germany
14. Rotary Club of Salem Metropolois D2980, India
15. Rotary Club of Vectis Sunrise D1110, England
16. Rotary Club of Saranac Lake , D7040, USA

Just brilliant that around one third of all the clubs entered this year are new to the event, really shows how the word is spreading. We want it to continue to spread well beyond the limits of the english language.

That's why our website has the capability to translate all its contents into 40 different languages - here's the video that explains how

Please, please help us by sharing this article with the clubs around the world you are connected with - with no language barriers, and the ability to stage the event at any time that suits your club on 23 February 2013, and the way you want to stage it - whether its 1 swimmer or 1000, lets all work together to make this a truly memorable shared global event that the world will take note of!

Friday, 4 January 2013

50 days to go - the District Challenge!

Hopefully most Rotary Clubs around the world are back in the swing of things after the holiday period and ready to get stuck into their projects. Yesterday I had the privilege of spreading the social media and Global Swimarathon message via an international webinar presentation using goto meeting to the Rotary Club of Omaha in Nebraska , just shows the amazing possibilities of linking up around the globe. Will be looking to get participating clubs together around the world nearer the time - watch this space!

Here's how I got on...

So really there's no better time to sign up to the world's biggest swim4peace with 50 days to go. Here's a quick update on the 14 countries and the number of clubs in them officially registered to take part.

1. England 14
2. USA 7
3.India 6
4. Australia 6
5.South Africa 4
6. Scotland 2
7.Ireland 2
8. New Zealand 2
9 = Wales, Germany, Spain, Egypt, Pakistan, Mexico 1

Please help your country move up the list -we are considering bringing back the same hour world record in 2014 and we may decide to offer the option to choose the time of day to the country which has the most clubs taking part!

Remember also that this year we have introduced a number of awards to be presented at the Rotary International Convention in Lisbon. There's an award for the club that raises the most money for End Polio Now, an award for the event with the most swimmers taking part and also there is an award for the District which has the most clubs taking part. So here's a look at the District "Chart" at the moment - all in all there are 32 Districts Represented which is fantastic out of a total of 48 entries. So there's plenty of opportunity to get more clubs interested in your district and get out in front!

1 = District 1070 9320, 9550 4 clubs
4 = District 3170, 7040 3 clubs
6 = District 1110 1160, 1280, 9930 2 clubs
10 = District 1010,1020,1030,1040,1100,1130,1180,1220,1810,2203,2450 ,2980,3140,3250,3272, 4160,5240,5340,6910,7280,9465,9600,9640 1 club

You can change the situation in an instant - just watch this video and register - takes minutes!

Thursday, 3 January 2013

51 days to go -the global challenge!

First of all, a big welcome to our 2 new registrations received already in 2013. A brand new entrant is the Rotary Club of Vectis Sunrise in the Isle of Wight, many thanks to Adrian Brewer for completing the sign up, and completing the double of Isle of Wight and Isle of Man both being represented!! Many thanks to Betty McNerlin President of the Rotary Club of Limavady in Northern Ireland, for entering again and completing the set of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales all being represented in Rotary in Britain and Ireland

As ever though, the real magic comes with the genuinely global nature of our event and the ever expanding list of countries which are joining us.

These are the 23 countries (plus Scotland , Wales and Northern Ireland - under United Kingdom and Tenerife under Spain) that took part in 2012 or are taking part in 2013. For those of you who aren't flag experts , pictured are

Australia, Argentina, Botswana, Bosnia Herzegovina Canada,China,Croatia,Egypt,France,Germany,India,Ireland,Kenya,Mexico,Moldova,
New Zealand, Pakistan,Phillipines,Romania,South Africa,Spain,UK and the USA

(One of the advantages of getting board games at Xmas and more particularly the flags of the world game!!)

It will be wonderful to see this picture of the flags grow over the next few weeks. Its great that out of the 47 clubs registered to date, they are from 33 different districts around the world which shows the potential for the event to keep growing and growing.

We want to cover every spare inch of this world map of interested and participating clubs!

View Rotary Global Swimarathon 2013 in a larger map

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Please vote for RGS hero Moin Junnedi

For me, out of all the thousands of swimming stories, pictures, videos, articles that contributed to the extraordinary 2012 world record , this 1 minute of footage from the 2012 event truly represents the pure inspiration of that unforgettable day.

The video features 14 year old Moin Junnedi, who has lived his entire life with severe osteoporosis (brittle bones disease) and suffered over 200 fractures.

Moin is the youngest swimmer in India to take part in the National Paralympics and has also been recognised by the India Book of Records

Moin swam at the Rotary Club of Belgaum event in India, which was also the largest event in terms of participation with 354 swimmers recorded for the world record. Just days before doctors advised Moin not to take part as he had suffered 4 fractures but Moin was so determined to swim.

The sheer human spirit and will of this young man is truly humbling. A few days ago I learned that Moin had been nominated by his home city of Belgaum as their citizen of the year To all our Rotary family and friends around the world, please would you spare a moment to vote for this extraordinary young man - I know it would mean the world to him.

I've put together this video which we'll try to share around all the social media channels

Thank you very much!

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Happy New Year - please join the world's biggest swim!

Wishing you all a very Happy, Healthy and Peaceful New Year - welcome to 2013.

And welcome to global sign up January! There are just over 52 days to go until the 2nd annual Rotary Global Swimarathon takes on the 23 February 2013 - Rotary day

Of course we are delighted to have nearly 50 website registered club entries already, way up on this time last year, but right now we are poised to take the event to a completely new level.

Today we are reaching out to all of the countries, to all of the clubs, to all of the districts around the world who have yet to be inviovled, and asking this one simple question.

Do you know ANYONE who can swim at least 100 metres at any time during the day on 23 February 2013?

If the answer is yes, taking part could be as easy as this.

Step 1: Watch this 3 minute video then register a user ID and your club (rotary , rotaract or sporting group on our website.

Step 2: Get together sponsors to support End Polio Now and other local charities

Step 3: Book a lane at the local pool, or even just head for the local beach on the day and take part

When you register your club with a contact email address we'll send you regular updates and simply ask that you let us know how much was raised at your event, how many people took part and the distances swum, along with maybe a pic or two or even a video. All fundraising is collected and distributed through local channels.

So how does that sound on your New Years Resolution list. Of course with so many clubs returning after the World Record Breaking swim of 2012 there will be many big events being staged throughout those magical 24 hours, so even if its only a few people swimming together, just imagine how it will all add together.

Rotary are in over 200 countries, and we want as many as possible to be represented. Its not every day you get the chance to represent your country in an event of this scale.

View Rotary Global Swimarathon 2013 in a larger map

Please also take note of the events taking place already in your area or region - why not partner up with other rotary clubs who have organized an event - even if you are not the main organizer of the event, if you are a member of a club not yet on the list - then please spare a couple of minutes to register

Finally, don't let language be a barrier to taking part - as per this video the website now has a built in translation feature into 40 different languages

Look out for a blog entry for every single day as we count down to the big day. Together we can make this the biggest and most inclusive annual fundraising swimming event in the world. Your support will make that difference - thankyou!