Palace keeper Speroni helps Swimathon splash the cash

Crystal Palace goalkeeper Julian Speroni was on hand to get the Purley Swimathon underway this year, with swimmers aged from seven to 80 raising more than £20,000 towards local causes.

Palace keeper Julian Speroni gets the 2016 Purley Swimathon underway

Palace keeper Julian Speroni gets the 2016 Purley Swimathon underway

As well as supporting their own chosen causes, the swimmers helped by backing the nominated charities of the organisers, Purley Rotary: the South-East Cancer Help Centre in Purley, the Diamond Riding Centre and the Croydon Performing Arts Festival.

In total, 262 swimmers took part in 2016, covering more than 60 miles. But the record of 208 lengths – 5,200 metres – covered by an Early Bird team in 2009 remains unbeaten.

This year’s Early Bird No 1 team did 164 lengths followed by St Giles (160) and SECHC (152 lengths).

The Swimathon has been planned and organised by the Rotary Club of Purley since 1988, and has now raised more than £470,000.

“We are on schedule to reach the brilliant milestone of £500,000 in 2017, but to achieve this we need a few more local groups and organsations to enter teams in order to reach this amount,” Tony Farrell, the event organiser, said.

“This is a popular and fun event for raising money so my advice to all fundraisers is to take advantage of this rare opportunity by indicating your interest now.”

Exhausted by happy Diamond Dippers after this year’s Purley Swimathon. You could take part in 2017

Provisional dates for 2017 have been set for Saturday February 25 (4pm to 9pm) and Thursday March 2 (6pm to 9pm), at the Purley Leisure Centre.

Anyone interested in putting in a team for 2017 should contact Tony Farrell via email at:

And it is not too late to donate directly towards this year’s Swimathon. Just click here.


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