Swim Ireland’s “Swim for a Mile” Challenge took place across Ireland last week with over 1,000 participants signed up to swim 1 mile (1,600 metres) following a 12 week training programme set out by the national governing body.

Partnering with Matt Coopers “The Last Word” Show on Today FM and funded by the Coca Cola Thank You Fund and the Irish Sports Council, events were held in Cork (Leisureworld, Bishopstown), Limerick (UL Sport), Galway (Kingfisher NUI Galway), Bangor (Aurora Leisure Centre) and Dublin’s National Aquatic Centre giving participants the opportunity to swim the mile in a timed environment.

Today FM’s Matt Cooper completed the mile in four of the venues across five days, a fantastic feat considering where he started out just 12 weeks ago “I’ve gained a whole new appreciation of the demands and benefits of swimming in recent months. It’s not easy but things that are good for you rarely are. I’m delighted to have taken part and that so many Last Word listeners got involved. Now we’ve dipped our toes in the water we hope to do it all again next year, even bigger and better. Maybe I’ll be able to do even more evenings! ”

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar took part in the event at the National Aquatic Centre and said: “I enjoyed it a lot. I haven’t done this since I was in school so I am very glad that I still can. I really want to complement Swim Ireland and Coca Cola for organising it. Swimming is a great cardiovascular and muscle strengthening exercise. That’s why swimmers are so healthy. The more people we can get in the pool the better.”

Swim Ireland CEO Sarah Keane also took part in the event “It’s great to see so many adults in the water and participating in our sport. The challenge has been a huge success and we are delighted to see our vision of encouraging participation come to life. We look forward to continuing to run the event on an annual basis and hope that more and more adults will get back in the pool and set themselves a new challenge.”

In 2013 Swim Ireland won a €25,000 prize from the Coca Cola Thank You Fund, which supports initiatives designed to promote physical activity and fitness. The Coca-Cola Thank you Fund was vital in running the Swim for a Mile Challenge and allowed Swim Ireland to offer free swimming coaching at the five flagship centres across the country. Speaking after the event Erica Roseingrave Public Affairs and Communications Manager with Coca Cola Hellenic Ireland said Great credit is due to Swim Ireland for the public response to Swim for a Mile. Hundreds of people all over Ireland have taken on the challenge culminating in the final event in the National Aquatic Centre. Many of the people taking part weren’t regular swimmers but with training, coaching and the motivation that comes from a challenge on the horizon, you really can go the distance and in the process transform your fitness levels. Swim for a Mile has been a great program for the Coca-Cola Thank you Fund to support.”

Swim Ireland would like to congratulate all of the participants on their fantastic achievement and we look forward to continuing with the event in 2015.

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