A RACE against the clock by members of a North-East swimming club has raised more than £4,500 for a food bank.

Swimmers from all squads in Middlesbrough Amateur Swimming Club (MASC) took part in the long-distance swimathon to splash the cash for Middlesbrough Food Bank.

The challenge was to compete against the clock in a 25-metre pool at the Neptune Centre, in Middlesbrough, swimming distances between 1km and 10km within set time limits.

And members – ranging from those as young as nine to masters level – completed 247,200 metres, or 9888 lengths, between them.

At the start of the new club season, in September 2023, the club pledged to support the food bank, inviting visitors to all home club galas to bring donated supplies.

The club had already donated almost 190kg of food and essential supplies since September, and the money raised through the swimathon sponsorship will enable the food bank to buy more than a week’s worth of shopping to support its seven locations across Middlesbrough.

Middlesbrough had the third highest level of destitution in the country last year and the food bank, which opened in 2012, relies entirely on donations. By November last year, it had already fed more than 12,616 people – 20 per cent more than the 10,477 fed in 2022.

MASC Head Coach, Marcin Pasze, said: “We are delighted to support Middlesbrough Food Bank. Many of our swimmers come from surrounding areas and it’s important to us that we contribute to our local community.

“The swimathon has been a fantastic opportunity for swimmers to challenge themselves at the beginning of the new year and I have been very impressed with all the swimmers who have taken part in our first sponsored challenge.

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“I hope that this will be the first of many and will inspire our swimmers to take part in fundraising efforts which support the community we are in. I am proud that our swimmers have raised much needed funds for our local food bank while building their stamina and endurance through the long-distance challenge.”

 Middlesbrough Food Bank Manager, Tracey Godfrey-Harrison (pictured below with Marcin Pasze), said: “We are really grateful for the support of Middlesbrough Amateur Swimming Club. It's great that we can work together in this way. 

 “We expect this year will be even busier, so we are thankful for groups like the swimming club, who get alongside us.”

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