GLL teams up with Diabetes UK for Swim22

Swim22 challengers can now benefit from discounted leisure centre membership, free training events and training advice through Diabetes UK’s new collaboration with leisure operator GLL

Leisure operator GLL has this week announced plans to work alongside leading health charity Diabetes UK, to support two of the charity’s fundraising initiatives – Swim22 and the One Million Step challenge – by helping to raise awareness, encourage participation and improve the health and fitness of those taking part.

GLL, which operates ‘Better’ leisure centres across the UK will offer challenge participants a discounted leisure centre membership, host free training events and provide training tips and advice for anyone who has committed to taking part; helping them to prepare safely and effectively.

Both challenges are designed to encourage people to use exercise to boost their mental and physical health, while also raising funds for the vital research made possible by Diabetes UK.

Take on the distance of the Channel

Swim22 invites participants to swim the distance of the English Channel, at their own pace over a period of 12 weeks, while the One Million Step Challenge asks fundraisers to walk an average of 10,800 steps each day, over a three-month period. Lesser distances can also be tackled, while a wealth of help, support and encouragement is provided remotely, by the charity and now by GLL.

Commenting on the new relationship Joseph Rham, Customer Experience Director at GLL said: “Diabetes is one of the fastest growing chronic conditions in the world. We also know that weight loss can in many cases, help to lower blood sugar levels and even put type 2 diabetes into remission.

“Not only do we support the important research work that Diabetes UK undertakes, we also want to encourage those living in our local communities to use our facilities to help improve their health and wellbeing. Taking part in the Swim22 and One Million Step challenges are a fantastic way to stay motivated, raise funds for a worthy cause and support health and weight loss goals.”

James Beeby, Director of Engagement and Fundraising at Diabetes UK , said: “Whether you want to get more active, improve your overall health or challenge yourself to achieve a fitness goal, our virtual events are a great way to do so. We’re delighted to be working with GLL this year to enhance our supporters experience and to help us reach new audiences who could benefit from our challenges.

“Across the UK, Better leisure centres support their members to improve their physical and mental health and it is this shared aim that makes this collaboration so fitting.”

Reduce the risk

Figures from Diabetes UK show that 4.3million people are now living with a diagnosis of diabetes in the UK. Registration figures for 2021-22 are up by 148,951 from 2020-21, and more than 2.4 million people are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the UK. 

The charity estimates there are an additional 850,000 people living with diabetes who are yet to be diagnosed, bringing the overall UK-wide figure beyond five million.

Without the right care and support, people with all types of diabetes can be at risk of developing serious complications. Every week, diabetes leads to 184 amputations, more than 770 strokes, 590 heart attacks and 2,300 cases of heart failure. 
All funds raised from the challenges will go towards Diabetes UK’s work, funding life-saving research and helping people living with diabetes to get the care and support they need.

Find out more about the Swim22 challenge: swim22.diabetes.org.uk

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Abi writes swimming news stories and features for the Outdoor Swimmer website and manages the social media channels. She loves to swim, run, hike and SUP close to her home in Herefordshire. While she’s a keen wild swimmer, Abi is new to the world of open water events and recently completed her first open water mile. She has previously written for The Guardian, BBC Countryfile Magazine, BBC History Magazine and Ernest Journal.