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Charities to benefit from ‘biggest’ Christmas Day swim yet

PUBLISHED: 11:35 13 March 2018 | UPDATED: 15:14 13 March 2018

Lowestoft Christmas Day Swim 2017. Photo: Mick Howes.

Lowestoft Christmas Day Swim 2017. Photo: Mick Howes.

Archant

Organisers have hailed the success of a popular festive tradition after more than £13,000 was raised for deserving causes.

The 40th official Lowestoft Christmas Day swim has been described as the “biggest yet” after more than 300 swimmers took part and an estimated 2,500 people cheered on the brave participants as they took the plunge into the sea.

The swim, which is organised and supported by Sentinel Leisure Trust, HM Coastguard, The Lowestoft Volunteer Lifeguard Corps, the Lowestoft Lions, St John Ambulance, the Claremont Pier, RNLI and Scott’s, saw swimmers brave the cold as they ran into the chilly North Sea wearing fancy dress costumes ranging from Santa Claus and Christmas turkeys to lobsters and giant bananas,

Since Sentinel took over the organisation of the event, more than £40,000 has now been raised for local charities. And 100pc of funds raised from the event this year will be shared equally amongst the chosen charities and causes.

That will see £13,330 shared between Ollie’s Heroes, Brainwave Independence Group, Taylor High Memorial Fund, Local Children’s Home, Topcats, Lowestoft and Oulton Broad Swimming Club, Brian Gallagher Football Fund, Lowestoft Lions, Lowestoft Lifeguard Volunteer Corps and St John Ambulance.

A presentation evening will be held on March 29 at Waterlane Leisure Centre to present the beneficiaries with their personalised cheques.

Stuart Everett, managing director of Sentinel Leisure Trust, said: “I must thank all involved who generously donated their time and resource to be able to put on this event each year. The ‘on the day team’ - all volunteering on Christmas Day - once again did an exceptional job to ensure the event runs smoothly. I would also like to thank all of the ‘local heroes’ – the participants – as they, together with the generous donations from the spectators raised over £13,000 on the day this year.”

Matt Stebbings, sport and leisure development manager at Sentinel Leisure Trust, said: “A big thanks to all those that give up their Christmas morning to help me with the swim and also a big thanks to the Claremont Pier and Scott’s for stepping in and ensuring we have somewhere to change and for providing the swimmers with much needed tea, coffee and soup after the swim.”

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