Family and friends splash cash for cancer cause at first Macmillan Lido Challenge held in Letchworth

People taking part in the Lido swim challenge for Macmillan at Letchworth Lido

People taking part in the Lido swim challenge for Macmillan at Letchworth Lido - Credit: Archant

Family and friends have been splashing the cash for a cancer cause as the first Macmillan Lido Challenge in Letchworth was held at the weekend.

Stephen Sapsed leading the warm up.

Stephen Sapsed leading the warm up. - Credit: Archant

More than 60 people took to the water at Letchworth Outdoor Pool on Saturday in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.

Competitors took on the 2km swim either as individuals or as a relay team of up to three people, after Stevenage dance teacher Stephen Sapsed had put them through their paces in the warm-up.

Caren Earp, headteacher of Henlow Church of England Academy, completed all 40 lengths by herself and finished well inside her one-hour target.

“We do set the children targets at school all the time so I set one for myself before the summer break,” she said afterwards.

The Comet Crawler team with their medals.

The Comet Crawler team with their medals. - Credit: Archant


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“There were 500 children in the assembly when I told them – so I had no choice but to do it!

“It was tough, but I’ve been training throughout the summer for it. I set myself a target of an hour and have beaten that so it’s a good example to the children, and shows even headteachers have targets to meet!”

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Annette Comparetto from Hitchin completed the swim in memory of her taxi driving husband Dino, who lost his battle with cancer at the age of 55 in December of last year.

She said: “I can’t believe I completed it, I thought I would conk out, but I managed to do 40 lengths with my colleague, Paul Cooper.

“I could hardly move on Sunday morning, but it was worth it as I raised more than £350 for Macmillan.

“The nurses at Macmillan are amazing.

“Receiving the news about Dino’s cancer was the worst experience ever. They kept me going and they are absolutely vital.

“Dino’s Macmillan nurse, Julie Deacon, is my inspiration and I will now always raise money for Macmillan. I’m hoping to do more events in the future.

“Everyone at work has been congratulating me, so it feels good to have completed it.”

Our very own Comet Crawlers were also among those to take part, with reporters Oliver Pritchard and Rebecca Day joined by sports group editor Mark Hemmings in a three-way relay.

Overall, organisers have so far raised more than £5,500 from the event – which also saw a collection at Sainsbury’s in Hitchin after the store chose Macmillan as its charity of the year.

To sponsor Caren visit www.justgiving.com/carenearp, www.justgiving.com/DinoComparetto and www.justgiving.com/rebeccaday1234 for the Comet Crawlers.

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