City Swim London, the charity open water swimming event held in Docklands six weeks ago, has raised £144,000.
Over 300 people took part in the series of 500m races at the Royal Victoria Dock on 22 September to raise money towards research and awareness in aid of motor neurone disease (MND), following similar City Swim fund raisers in Amsterdam and New York over the past five years.
Competitors included workers from Intertrust, Ernst & Young and ING, plus those living with MND including Jan Kramer, 43, from Rotterdam, the Netherlands, whose condition affects his ability to use his arms, legs and voice. Jan, who swam with a team of helpers, finished in a time of 22 minutes 8 seconds.
David de Buck, CEO of sponsors Intertrust, who presented prizes, said: “We are very proud to have sponsored such a fantastic event and to have played an active role in raising awareness and funds for Motor Neurone Disease.”
London City Swim is supported by The Motor Neurone Disease Association and The Stephen Hawking Foundation, and competitors received messages of support from MND Association patrons and A-list actors Benedict Cumberbatch and Eddie Redmayne, while a big screen video message from Professor Hawking was played next to the water.
City Swim started in Amsterdam in 2012 after a group of friends decided to find a way to raise money for a colleague suffering from MND. It soon took off, with thousands of like-minded locals jumping into Amsterdam’s canals to take part in the inaugural event and has become an annual crowd puller in the city.
Organisers took City Swim to New York two years ago, with swimmers taking part in the Hudson River.
To date, the City Swim events have raised over £8m in aid of research and support for those living with MND, and all money raised in donations from the London event will go to Project MinE, the ground breaking international genetic research programme for MND.
Huibert Vigeveno, Chair, London City Swim, added: “London City Swim was a fabulous success and we look forward to making it a regular fixture in the capital.”
The second London City Swim is planned to take place on 21 September 2018.