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Ashton Swimmers Splash out for Lourdes
Monday 30th January, 2006

Ashton Swimmers Splash out for Lourdes
Becki and James on the 2005 pilgrimage to Lourdes.

A dedicated group of swimmers of all abilities are making a splash at Ashton Leisure Centre over the coming weeks to raise valuable funds for a very worthy cause. Members of the Pilgrimage Trust (Wigan Branch) and staff from the Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust managed leisure centre are teaming up for two sponsored swims taking place on the Tuesday 31st January and Friday 17th February.

Many of the participants taking part in the event on January 31st learned to swim at Ashton Leisure Centre. The event will involve adults, children, experienced swimmers and swimmers with disabilities and is a part of a campaign to raise the £5,000 needed to take a group of children with disabilities to Lourdes, France.

“The trips to Lourdes bring a lot of happiness to a lot of children with severe disabilities. It costs £500 per child for the trip, so we need to raise a substantial amount of money,” says Sheila Towman from the Pilgrimage Trust. “We are really grateful to Ashton Leisure Centre for helping us with the sponsored swim. Without the help of all the staff this would never have happened.”

Ann Sammon, who is one of the main organisers of the swim, is planning to swim 32 lengths even though she has only just completed her course of swimming lessons. Other participants will be swimming various lengths dependent on ability and this has inspired leisure centre staff to get involved.

“The staff of the leisure centre are holding our own sponsored swim on 17th February to help raise more funds for such a valuable cause,” says Karen Pilling one of the centre’s swimming instructors. “There are eight to ten staff involved and we will all be swimming one hundred lengths, which is two and a half kilometres!”

For further information about the Pilgrimage Trust see www.hcpt.org.uk. To contribute to the Wigan branch campaign in anyway please contact Sheila Towman on 01695 622796 or see www.hcptwigan.co.uk.

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