VIDEO: Reporter Amanda Devlin dives head first into charity challenge

The day of my charity swimathon finally arrived after weeks of nervous anticipation over whether or not I would be able to successfully complete the challenge.

By Amanda Devlin
Tuesday, 26th November 2013, 11:44 am
Devlin's Dolphins: Laurie Wright, Amanda Devlin and Natalee Hazelwood
Devlin's Dolphins: Laurie Wright, Amanda Devlin and Natalee Hazelwood

But as soon as I arrived at the Rotary Club of Bedford’s annual event I was delighted to see I was joined by 30 teams who had chosen to spend their Saturday swimming lengths at Bedford School for a special cause.

It was the Rotary Club’s 10th Community Sponsored Charity Swimathon and a mixture of people from schools, clubs, charities and other organisations had turned out to raise money for Canine Partners, a charity that trains assistance dogs for disabled people, and another charity of their choice.

Earlier this year the club chose to sponsor Ayla, a 10-week old female Yellow Labrador, who will be trained at Canine Partners’ local satellite in Clapham and adorable Ayla was there at the sidelines cheering on those who had begun to tire with achy muscles during the 50-minute swim.

Devlin's Dolphins: Laurie Wright, Amanda Devlin and Natalee Hazelwood

It was her gorgeous puppy dog eyes and the incredible support from the Rotary Club of Bedford that helped me to push through the stitch and race to the finish line for a medal that I will forever show off proudly.

The club is hoping to have raised £15,000 from the day with at least 50 per cent being donated to Canine Partners, but if you can spare any pennies to go towards this fantastic cause, please get in touch!

Keith Fossey, project manager at the Rotary Club of Bedford, said: “It was a special day with 31 teams swimming between 9am and 4pm in the afternoon.

“The attendance of Canine Partner dogs added an extra feel good factor as teams were photographed with the dogs once they had been presented with their medals and chocolate, kindly donated by Mars UK.

Reporter Amanda Devlin with Canine Partners volunteer and puppy Ayla

“The swimming pool, which had been provided free of charge by Bedford School, proved to be an excellent venue as between them the teams swam about 2594 lengths or 49 miles!”

Both the Rotary Club of Bedford and Canine Partners are very grateful to everyone who contributed to such a successful event – as am I – so a big thanks goes to my colleague Natalee Hazelwood and Laurie Wright who joined my team, Devlin’s Dolphins, and caused a splash!