St Albans nine-year-old swims 5k over two and a half hours for charity

Emelia Thomas. Picture: Everyone Active

Emelia Thomas. Picture: Everyone Active - Credit: Archant

A nine-year-old swimmer tackled 200 full lengths of a pool to raise money for cancer sufferers.

Emelia Thomas. Picture: Everyone Active

Emelia Thomas. Picture: Everyone Active - Credit: Archant

Emelia Thomas swum for two and a half hours straight as part of this year’s World’s Biggest Charity Swim at Westminster Lodge Leisure Centre.

She decided to undertake the 5k challenge in memory of her grandad, who passed away from prostate cancer two years ago.

So far, the youngster has raised £700 for Marie Curie and Cancer Research UK.

Emelia’s mum, Sally Thomas, said: “We are all so proud of Emelia and what she has achieved.

“Everyone at Westminster Lodge was so encouraging, with the team and other swimmers cheering her on to help her get through it.”

The St Albans High School for Girls student is a keen swimmer who trains at Verulam Amateur Swimming Club.

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Everyone Active general manager Lesley Garner said: “We were delighted to see so many people take to the water here at Westminster Lodge.

“There was a great atmosphere with lots of family and friends cheering the swimmers on. Congratulations to all those who trained so hard to complete their challenge and we would like to give a special mention to Emelia.

“To complete the full 5K challenge is an impressive feat for an adult, let alone at nine years old.

“What she has achieved is fantastic and she should be very proud.”

Since the swimathon started 31 years ago, half a million people have taken part in pools across the country and more than £49 million has been raised for 36 different charities.

Seventy nine local swimmers took part at Westminster Lodge this year, choosing to complete a 400m, 1.5k, 2.5k or 5k swim.

It took place between April 27 to 29 and the combined funds raised for 2018 will be announced later this year.

Cancer Research UK fund scientific research into, and raise awareness of, the disease.

Marie Curie provides palliative care for people with terminal illnesses like cancer, but also dementia, motor neurone disease, heart failure, and Parkinson’s disease.

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