Readers are being urged to sign up to Swimathon, the world’s biggest annual fundraising swim, to raise money for two great causes, Cancer Research UK and Marie Curie.

Swimmers of all ages and abilities are being invited to take part in the annual sponsored event in pools across the country and help raise money for both charities.

This year, there are lots of ways to take part in Swimathon.

The big Swimathon weekend takes place from Friday, April 27 to Sunday, April 29. Participants can choose individual challenges of 400m, 1.5k, 2.5k or 5k or team distances of 1.5k or 5k.

There’s also the opportunity to take part in ‘MySwimathon’, where participants can complete one of the individual challenges or set their own distance at any time from April 20 – May 6.

Swimathon started in 1988 and since then more than 700,000 participants have dived into 1,000 pools across the UK and raised over £48 million for different charities.

Olympic gold-medallist and Swimathon President Duncan Goodhew said: “It has been a real joy to see Swimathon develop into the great event it is today, and raise so much money for so many worthwhile charities. Swimathon really gives people a chance to get active with friends and family, whilst doing some good at the same time. I am so proud that Swimathon gives so many people the chance to enjoy the water.”

Cancer Research UK and Marie Curie are the official charity partners of Swimathon 2018.

Lisa Adams, Cancer Research UK spokeswoman for Scotland said: “Everyone can get involved Swimathon, whether you are the next Duncan Goodhew or a complete land lubber.We are encouraging as many people to sign up as possible.

Swimming is a great way to keep active, which can help reduce the risk of three different types of cancer, heart disease and stroke. And being more active can help people maintain a healthy weight, which in turn can help reduce the risk of 13 different types of cancer.”

For more information and to sign up now, visit