Knaresborough’s part in global swimarathon for polio eradication

The Mayor and Mayoress of Knaresborough Coun John Batt Mrs Sue Batt,the Mayor and Consort of Boroughbridge Coun Elizabeth Vose and Mr David Vose together with Rotary Club President John Tapscott start the Swimarathon at Knaresborough Swimming Pool. (S)
The Mayor and Mayoress of Knaresborough Coun John Batt Mrs Sue Batt,the Mayor and Consort of Boroughbridge Coun Elizabeth Vose and Mr David Vose together with Rotary Club President John Tapscott start the Swimarathon at Knaresborough Swimming Pool. (S)

Thirty swimmers made a splash for Rotary at Knaresborough Swimming Pool on Saturday to help raise funds for the End Polio Now campaign.

This was the second Swimarathon organised by Knaresborough Rotary Club and part of a globally linked sponsored swimming event involving more than 200 locations around the world.

Amongst the swimmers were 79-year-old Knaresborough Rotarian Mike Padgett who swam a mile and Mike Parker who expects to raise over £450 from his sponsors. The youngest swimmers were eight-year-olds Rebecca Brown and Imogen Cox.

The Mayor and Mayoress of Knaresborough Coun John Batt and Mrs Sue Batt, Mayor and Consort of Boroughbridge Coun Elizabeth Vose and Mr David Vose together with Rotary Club President John Tapscott started the proceedings.

Event organiser Rotarian Brian Souter said: “It is not clear how much has been raised so far as swimmers now need to collect their sponsorship money. On behalf of the Rotary Club I would like to thank Knaresborough Swimming Pool staff for helping us to put on the event, Contract Natural Gas of Harrogate, our sponsors and all who took part”.

Rotary clubs worldwide have been working to eradicate polio through vaccination since 1985, and in 2012 Knaresborough’s Rotary Club won a prestigious award as the leading polio fundraiser amongst clubs in North and West Yorkshire.

The worldwide campaign is getting close to its target worldwide, and today polio is endemic in only three countries: Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria. In 2010 there were 1,352 cases worldwide, this fell to 644 cases in 2011 and in 2012 to 223. Two years ago polio was completely eradicated from India. So far in 2013, up to February 23, there have only been two recorded cases compared to 18 in the same period in 2012.

For more information visit www.knaresborough.rotary1040.org.