The Triangle in Burgess Hill is urging the local community to sign up and join in with what is being dubbed the World’s Biggest Swim.
At the same time, Mid Sussex has come in second out of 221 local authorities whose adults say they swim once a week,
according to Diabetes UK.
Some 11 per cent of adults in the district swim weekly, more than anywhere else in the South East region, according to a league table based on Sport England figures.
Diabetes UK is using the table to launch its Swim 22 challenge where participants swim 22 miles (the distance across the English Channel) at their local pool between 22 February and 22 May.
Jill Steaton, South East regional manager for Diabetes UK, said: “Swimming is a great way to keep physically active, which is really important for preventing Type 2 diabetes and helping to manage diabetes if you already have it.”
This year’s Swimathon at the Triangle in Burgess Hill is supported by legendary swimmer Olympian Duncan Goodhew and will raise funds for Sport Relief.
Individuals can choose from 1.5km, 2.5km or 5km distances, and there are team challenge distances of 1.5km and 5km. Teams can split the distance to cater for their strongest and weakest swimmers.
Freedom Leisure staff are going to be on hand to offer training advice to swimmers looking for help with their swimming technique or with putting together a swimming training plan ready for the event, which takes place over the weekend of Saturday and Sunday March 22 and 23.
Swimming is already credited to be one of the best total body exercises for health and fitness with regular swimming good for the heart and lungs as well as muscular strength and endurance.
Managing director of Freedom Leisure Ivan Horsfall-Turner said: “We are thrilled to be supporting the Swimathon again this year. People of all ages and abilities can take part and it’s a great opportunity to raise money for charity while enjoying a fantastic workout.
“Sport Relief is a truly worthwhile cause so we’re encouraging as many people as possible to set up a team, take the plunge and join in the fun.”
For more on Swimathon visit www.freedom-leisure.co.uk or www.swimathon.org to register.
To sign up to Swim22 visit www.diabetes.org.uk/swim22