Student makes a big splash with marathon swim for cancer charity

Some of the swimmers who took part in the relay marathon at the Worksop Leisure Centre pool.
Some of the swimmers who took part in the relay marathon at the Worksop Leisure Centre pool.

A student from Worksop gathered together many of her swimming friends for a relay marathon that has raised hundreds of pounds for a cancer charity.

Twenty-year-old Megan Berridge, of Barn Lane, wanted to help after her stepfather Mike was diagnosed with cancer. So she arranged a 100X100m freestyle swimming relay at Worksop Leisure Centre, which entailed more than 50 swimmers covering four lengths of the pool 100 times!

It all took a few hours but proved well worth it because more than £1,200 has been raised for Yorkshire Cancer Centre, the fundraising arm of St James’s Institute of Oncology in Leeds, where 54-year-old Mike has been treated.

“I have been overwhelmed by the support and donations I have received,” said Megan, who is in her third year of studying physiotherapy at Birmingham University. “I would like to thank everyone for their kindness. It is such a deserving cause for the money to go to.”

Megan’s proud mum, and Mike’s partner, Sandra Berridge, was full of praise for the hard work her daughter put in to organise the event.

“She had the idea to raise the funds and set it all up herself,” said Sandra, 51. “She has been swimming with Worksop Dolphins since the age of nine, and was also a member of the Bassetlaw squad of the Nova Centurion county team, so she has got to know a lot of swimmers over the years. To see so many of them turn out on the day was amazing.

“She also received lots of support from family, friends and other parents, and from Kilton Forest Golf Club, where she works part-time behind the bar at weekends and during university holidays. She set up a JustGiving page online, and got sponsorship from Bassetlaw Hospital, where I work.

“Megan also ran a raffle, which was supported by local shops and businesses, including Creswell Crags, Hair By Esteem, Tesco and Morrisons, who all donated prizes. And on the day, one of Nova’s coaches, Cathy Pritchard, was poolside to keep time. It’s great to acknowledge everyone who gave up their time to make all this possible.”

The money raised will go towards funding research and equipment for cancer patients at St James’s.