Compete against Olympians in the Great Swim Challenge

World Champion Gold medallist Keri-Anne Payne, Olympic Silver medallist David Davies and Olympic Bronze medallist Cassie Patten are just a few of the great athletes launching the Great Swim 2009, by participating in the Great London Swim.

The Great Swim involves a new series of one mile swims taking place throughout the country, the first kicking off in London, at the Royal Victoria Dock on Saturday 15 August 2009, giving swimmers the opportunity to swim against the outstanding backdrop of Canary Wharf and The O2 arena.

Great Swim
Great Swim
The idea comes from the world’s biggest half marathon, the Bupa Great North Run, using mass participation events to provide a focus and challenge for which people can train.

The swims are open to those of all abilities, from those who have only swum in pools to those training for a triathlon, and have already captured the attention of some big names.

Olympic Running Silver medallist and double World Cross Country Champion, Sonia O’Sullivan and Dr Hilary Jones, GMTV’s resident doctor have vowed to take part, with O’Sullivan setting her sights on the London Swim.

“The aim is to swim my age,” she said, “a mile in 39 minutes!”

Other participants in the various swims include Janice Tilett, a deaf blind swimmer raising money for Deafblind UK, seventy-nine year old Johan Staals, Eastenders’ Steve McFadden and amputee Lee Menday.

The Great North Swim takes place in Lake Windermere on 12 and 13 September 2009, and Cerebral Palsy Sport still has five spaces left to fill.

All the sponsorship raised will help the charity reach more children and adults suffering from the illness, the most common form of severe disability, with one in 400 births resulting in the condition.

By engaging children and adults in sport the charity aims to build self-confidence, friendships and support networks.

If you are interested in swimming a mile to support the charity please contact Caroline Dolan on 07968101958 or email

For information on the Great Swims 2009 and how to enter, please visit