As of last week, the Rotary Club of Cabarrus County was the only Rotary club in the state set to participate in the Rotary Global Swimarathon.The inaugural event was organized last year by England’s Rotary Club of Grantham. It raised $105,000 while achieving a Guinness World Record of 4,546 people swimming at the same time in 64 locations around the world. This year’s event has been extended to clubs swimming within the same 24 hours. All proceeds benefit the Rotary’s End Polio Now campaign.The Cabarrus club’s local fundraiser will be Feb. 23 at the West Cabarrus Branch of the Cannon Memorial YMCA in Concord. An opening ceremony, healthy snacks after the event and a closing relay exhibition will be part of the day’s activities. People of all ages and abilities can participate; kickboards will be available for those who need them. Each participant is asked to swim five lengths of the pool and donate $5. Coaches and swimmers with Sailfish Aquatics will partner with the Cabarrus club to help run the event. Salfish Aquatics is a year-round competitive swim team for children and adults that places an emphasis on service and community. Lisa Perry, a Cabarrus Rotary member and Sailfish Masters swimmer, brought the Swimarathon idea to her Rotary club and serves as the event coordinator.“Members of our Rotary club think it is very exciting to be a part of an event where Rotarians and people who care about ending polio will all be coming together in their own parts of the world to swim for a common cause on the same day. ...,” said Perry. “When I heard about the Swimarathon, I thought it would be a great way to raise our contribution while also raising awareness for Rotary and polio in our community.” Cathy Sheafor is a coach of Sailfish Aquatics, which prides itself on helping youths build character. Shaefor’s swimmers ages 7-10 are expected to participate in the marathon. “Understanding the condition of the world we live in and accepting responsibility to help others is key to our success as adults and children,” said Sheafor. “Our club supports the global Swimarathon because it presents a tremendous opportunity to teach children about the world and to instill philanthropic values.”Darci White and her 13-year-old son, Jason, are members of Sailfish Aquatics. Jason, who has been swimming since he was 4, said it will be cool to participate in something that people all over the world are a part of. “I think this is a fabulous way for this community to come together to help end polio,” said Darci. “Swimming has grown by leaps and bounds in this area, and this is a great way for these swimmers to give back to the global community. While we may not be directly affected by polio in our area, it is nice to see our community come together with others all over the globe to help end polio. It is amazing to think that at sometime during a 24-hour period, people all over the world are swimming for the same reason. ...”Chris Jones, the district governor for 57 Rotary clubs in the Charlotte metro area and 14 surrounding counties, including Cabarrus County, said the Swimarathon effort presents a window of opportunity of historic proportions.“After 25 years of hard work, Rotary and its partners are on the brink of eradicating (polio), but a strong push is needed now to root it out once and for all,” said Jones. “Reaching the ultimate goal of a polio-free world presents ongoing challenges, not the least of which is a hundreds of millions dollar funding gap.”
Friday, Feb. 15, 2013
Cabarrus County Rotary joins international swimming event
Want to go? • The Rotary Club of Cabarrus County will host a local event for the club’s international Swimarathon, 10 a.m.-noon Feb. 23 at Cannon Memorial YMCA, 5325 Langford Ave., Concord. 704-795-9622, email@example.com or www.cabarrusrotary.org. Register: www.cabarrusrotary.org/events/swim.