The 2020 Swimarathon organised on Sunday 26th January by the Lytham St. Anne’s Lions at St.Anne’s YMCA Pool turned out to be an awesome event with over sixty three teams and five hundred swimmers taking part. An amazing £14,500 for Guide Dogs for the Blind and Home-Start Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre was raised by this special event, which has been running for over thirty years.

And the good news continues as the Lions included the opportunity for entrants to help name two new guide dogs.  So today we can introduce the two wonderful future guide dogs – a black Labrador named Rolly and a Golden Retriever named Poppy!


Joe Woods, who organises the Swimarathon every year, said about the event, ‘We started at 8am and we had six lanes running through the day, and the last swim was at 6pm, so believe me it was a long day! There was a lot of schools and disabled groups taking part. We had the Guide Dogs there and we had, during the day, eight or nine different guide dogs coming in and sitting in the foyer where the children could stroke them.’

Ribby with Wrea Primary School won the first competition, and choosing Poppy as the name of the six-month-old Golden Retriever puppy.

Park Community Academy in Blackpool were also successful, naming the wonderful black Labrador puppy Rolly.

Rolly and Poppy will now complete their training, after which they’ll be truly welcomed and valued by their new visually impaired owner.

Lytham St Anne’s News says a sincere ‘well done’ to all involved in this first rate fundraising event which will have such a great impact upon the lives of visually impaired members of the community.  Congratulations.