CHARITY swimmers will be making a splash at Dorchester’s brand new pool this weekend.

The Dorchester and District Lions Club is holding its 30th Swimarathon event at the £8million Dorchester Sports Centre on Saturday and Sunday.

For entrants it will be a first chance to take a plunge in the six-lane pool before it is officially opened on October 22.

The Lions have raised more than £100,000 through their annual Swimarathon over the last three decades and charitable group have taken inspiration from the Paralympics and have decided the main beneficiary of this year’s event will be sport for the disabled in the local area.

Lion Andy Rose said there had been plenty of interest so far and he was also hoping for more entries to come in the run-up to the event.

He said: “I think we probably have over a couple of dozen teams and we always get a bit of a late surge.

“We have got a bigger pool this year as we have got this new pool at the Dorchester Sports Centre which has got six lanes.”

Operators of the new sports centre, the 1610 leisure trust, are putting in the finishing touches but Mr Rose said the pool is well and truly complete and ready to be used.

He said: “The pool itself is in fine and dandy condition – it’s a superb pool with seating for spectators above.

“We are lucky to have access to it even though it has not been formally opened to the public.”

Teams of up to six can take part in the event and can also raise money for their favourite charities, with Mr Rose hoping the fundraising total will top £6,000.

The teams will swim for 55 minutes, with slots available between 1pm and 6pm on Saturday or from 10am to noon on Sunday. Entry forms are available from the Thomas Hardye Leisure Centre, from the Dorchester Tourist Information Centre in Antelope Walk and from the Lions website at lionsdorchester.