Tom, 64, to make a splash at Wellingborough swimathon for the second time

Tom (second from left) with his Swimathon team of Dave, Marketa and Alex at the Waendel Leisure Centre in Wellingborough
Tom (second from left) with his Swimathon team of Dave, Marketa and Alex at the Waendel Leisure Centre in Wellingborough
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A 64-year-old man who took up swimming after being told he faced having to use a wheelchair is supporting a swimathon for the second year running.

Tom Tierney had a referral from his GP to start exercising after being warned he faced having to use a wheelchair.

Tom will be taking part in the Swimathon 2016 event at the Waendel Leisure Centre in Wellingborough

Tom will be taking part in the Swimathon 2016 event at the Waendel Leisure Centre in Wellingborough

He took the doctor’s advice and two years on, Tom uses the gym and swims several times a week at the Waendel Leisure Centre in Wellingborough and is set to take part in a national swimathon for the second time.

Tom said: “If it was not for using the gym and the pool, I most likely wouldn’t be walking by now.”

It was staff at the leisure centre in Thomas Street, Wellingborough, who encouraged Tom to set up a team of four swimmers and they completed a 5,000m swim for last year’s Swimathon 2015, a nationwide event aimed at getting people to complete a distance swim.

Since the first event in 1986, more than half a million swimmers have taken part at their local pool and raised more than £40 million for good causes.

If I can do it, anybody can

Tom Tierney

This year’s event, which is taking place from March 18 to March 20, has Sport Relief as its official charity partner.

Tom added: “Not that long ago I was struggling to stay on the surface of the water even with inflatable aids and now I can confidently do my lengths without any help.

“One of the Waendel swimming teachers, Marketa, encouraged me to take part in Swimathon last year and that’s how it all started.

“If I can do it, anybody can.”

All levels of fitness, abilities and ages can participate in Swimathon 2016.

Individuals can do a 1.5K, 2.5K or 5K challenge or people can sign up with colleagues, friends or family members for team challenges of 1.5K or 5K.

Laura Banks, general manager at the Waendel Leisure Centre, said: “It is fantastic that Tom and all the active people using our facilities are making Wellingborough a healthy place to live.

“The annual Swimathon is an exciting, inspirational event and we feel privileged to host it for the residents of Wellingborough.”

Swimathon 2016 is taking place at the Waendel Leisure Centre on Friday, March 18, and Saturday, March 19.

To book visit www.swimathon.org.

For more information contact the leisure centre on 01933 221622.­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­