The annual Frances Thornton Memorial Galway Bay Swim in aid of Cancer Care West which is now in its 15th year, will be taking place throughout the month of August this year. The swim which would normally see 150 people crossing the bay in July has had to be reimagined for 2020.
The swim which sells out each year is now one of Ireland’s biggest and longest one day swims. Starting from Aughinish in Co Clare and finishing at Blackrock Diving Tower in Salthill, the swim is a distance of roughly 13 kilometres. So, this year in order to ensure that Cancer Care West raises the vital funds it needs in order to ensure its services are available to cancer patients and supports to their families, the charity is calling on you to swim 13km in August.
Since the swim began 14 years ago, 740 people have swam the Bay. “The swim is much more than a fundraiser; it’s the swimming highlight for so many swimmers across Ireland. We needed to somehow still come together this year so we have decided that a 13km registered swim could still bring this swim into people’s lives this year. The swimming community in Ireland is a very tight knit one, we have all felt a little displaced through this pandemic, so coming together through the strokes gives us all a sense of place and purpose again,” explained Brian Thornton, Director of Cancer Care West.
'This challenge can be completed anywhere in the world so it would be great to see a local and international element to the event'
Last year’s swim raised over €100,000 for Cancer Care West. “We have seen a drop of between 50-60% in our fundraising this year. All face to face charity fundraisers have had to stop so we are banking on this swim to try and ensure services for 2020.The monies raised will help fund support services for cancer patients and their families through our support centres ” said Brian.
All year round swimmer Paddy McNamara says this year gives a unique opportunity to swimmers of all abilities to do something special for Cancer Care West.
“This challenge can be completed anywhere in the world so it would be great to see a local and international element to the event,” he said.
The Frances Thornton Memorial Galway Bay Swim will take place throughout August. People are invited to swim 13km, which can be broken up throughout the whole month. Swimmers are asked to raise €100 each for Cancer Care West this year and will receive a personalised Frances Thornton Memorial Galway Bay Swim Technical Tee.