South Shields Volunteer Lifeguards swim way to fundraising success

South Shields Volunteer Lifeguard Club sponsored swimathon
South Shields Volunteer Lifeguard Club sponsored swimathon

Swimmers dived in to a fundraising challenge to help keep a life-saving device working and a new mascot.

Members of South Shields Volunteer Lifeguard Club pushed their water skills to the limit by taking part in a 24-hour swimathon.

Some of ther 41 swimmers that took part in a 24 hour swimathon at Brinkburn CA, Harton Lane, South Shields over Tuesday and Wednesday to raise funds for their new mascot. Total swimming distance was 112 miles

Some of ther 41 swimmers that took part in a 24 hour swimathon at Brinkburn CA, Harton Lane, South Shields over Tuesday and Wednesday to raise funds for their new mascot. Total swimming distance was 112 miles

The event held at Brinkburn CIO in South Shields, was initially organised to raise cash to cover the cost of a new mascot - Perry Buoy.

However, the cash will also be used to buy a new battery for a defibrillator which will be kept on the site, in Harton Lane, South Shields.

A total of 41 people, aged from four to 60 years old, took part in the sponsored swim.

Those taking part were required to swim as many lengths as they could of the pool and were able to leave and come back and do another session.

“It was very much a party atmosphere, everyone was singing and dancing all the way through, we all had a great laugh.”

Gillian Wilkinson

There had to be at least one person swimming at any one time.

Gillian Wilkinson, one of the organisers, said: “We had hoped to organise the event during Pledge 55 as part of our 55th anniversary.

“But due to being unable to get people together we decided to put it back until now.

“It was very much a party atmosphere, everyone was singing and dancing all the way through, we all had a great laugh.”

The new mascot will be used to raise awareness around water safety and to promote the lifeguard club.

Miss Wilkinson added: “There is a mascot we can borrow, but it is in high demand as it is used by clubs throughout the North East and Scotland.

“The last time we borrowed it, it wasn’t just the younger kids it attracted it caught the eye of people of all ages which is one of the reasons why we wanted our own.

“The mascot is loved by our rookies and the whole club.”

The South Shields Volunteer Lifeguard Club was started in 1961 and is affiliated to the Royal Lifesaving Society.

The group is based at Brinkburn CIO and Mowbray Lifeguard Station at Sandhaven Beach.

They hold session on Saturdays for Rookie Lifeguards aged five to 12-years-old and sessions for those aged 12 plus on Tuesdays. 
For details call 0191 455 3819 or visit the club’s facebook page South Shields Volunteer Lifeguard Club.