A novel way to celebrate the Summer Solstice….

It might not have been the most spectacular sunrise at 3.30am but that didn’t stop the first 40 swimmers from starting their first mile in the first ever “24 hour Swimathon” at Hathersage Open Air Swimming Pool.

Students from Hallam University competed all day and night to see who could swim the most miles within the 24 hours to raise funds for their chosen good causes. A sleep tent was set up on the pool side so competitors could rest in between their challenges. Hot drinks, soup, pasties and home-made cake were served by the local villagers to give sustenance and encouragement to the hungry swimmers throughout the day. By late afternoon, the pool was filled with children who had rushed home from school to join in the challenge.

The Community spirit was amazing; local company IMT Lighting donated low level lights which enabled the event to go ahead. Ewan and Sam Elliott and a band called “The Cuckoo Clocks” provided great music from the bandstand and by late evening the pool was brimming over again as the sun set over Stanage Edge bathing the pool in glorious sunshine.

Many came to swim a “Mile at Midnight” – a first ever event in Hathersage Pool. Participants also included a lady who swam 6 miles as part of her training to swim across the channel, the Sheffield Hallam Water Polo team and a group of ladies who took time out from their Hen Party celebrations to raise money for their chosen charity. Pool Managers Mike and George said the atmosphere and support for the Swimathon had been truly amazing and they are very keen to make this an annual event. The next fundraising events include the Late Night Swims to live music which usually take place on the 3rd Friday of each month (tickets in advance are just £5) and Hallowe’en will be celebrated at the pool for the first time this year on 26th October between 11am and 3pm with a Cold Water swim!