SWIMMERS are being urged to help clock up the miles again at a popular annual charity fundraiser.

The Dorset and District Lions will be holding its 32nd Swimarathon on Saturday, October 4 and Sunday, October 5.

The event at the Dorchester Sports Centre in Coburg Road will give local groups, schools, organisations and individuals the chance to raise funds for their own good causes.

Half of the money will also go to this year’s chosen charities: the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance and the West Dorset group of Diabetes UK.

The fundraising event has been running since 1982, with over 850 teams taking part over the years to raise more than £120,000 for charity.

During that time swimmers have clocked up nearly 1,700 miles between them and 95 per cent of the funds raised has been donated to local causes.

Teams of up to six are invited to take part and will have to swim for a total of 55 minutes, with each swimmer completing lengths of the pool in turn.

A spokesman for the Lions said: “This year we are again fortunate to have use of the swimming pool at the Dorchester Sports Centre – and with the new six-lane pool we’d like to attract even more teams than previous years.

“A number of teams have supported the Swimarathon for many years – including Henry Lings, Wessex Warriors and Thornlow School.

“We are very grateful for their continuing support and it’s also rewarding to see new teams taking part.

“All participants can take satisfaction from knowing that their contribution will support many local good causes and will all receive a medal to recognise their achievements.”

Sessions will be held from 1pm to 6pm on the Saturday and 9am to 1pm on the Sunday.

The Lions hope the session timings will help maximise the number of people able to take part.

They promise the event will be a real community occasion, with Mayor of Dorchester Peter Mann due to attend on the Saturday to start the event.

Entry forms can be picked up at the Dorchester Sports Centre or Gould’s household stores in South Street as well as the Dorchester Tourist Information Centre in Antelope Walk.

Forms can also be downloaded from the Lions website at lionsdorchester.org.uk For more information or to arrange a swim time contact Mervyn on 01305 812404 or Andy on 01305 267481.