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Call goes out to swimmers from Northern Ireland to make a splash in diabetes charity challenge

A sponsored swimming challenge which raises vital funds for Diabetes UK returns this spring – and a call has gone out for people from Northern Ireland to sign up. There are over 104,000 people living with diabetes in Northern Ireland and this number continues to grow each year.

Swim22 runs between 22 March and 22 June and involves swimming a total of 22 miles – the same distance as the English Channel. Participants can take on the challenge at their own pace, accumulating the miles across the course of the 12 weeks.

All funds raised will go towards Diabetes UK’s work in funding life-saving research and making sure everyone living with diabetes gets the care and support they need.

Among those taking part this year will be actor and Diabetes UK supporter Annette Badland, whose credits include EastEnders, Doctor Who, Midsomer Murders and sports comedy Ted Lasso, winner of seven Emmy awards last year.  

Annette said:Diabetes UK’s Swim22 challenge is a fantastic way to make yourself fitter and feel more confident, while raising money for a great charity. I took part two years ago and enjoyed it so much that I’ll be swimming 22 miles over 12 weeks again this year. It is a challenge, but you will feel amazing at the end of it. That feeling is even better when you know your fundraising efforts are going towards supporting people affected by diabetes."

Tina McCrossan, National Director at Diabetes UK Northern Ireland, added: “Whether you’re an absolute beginner or a seasoned swimmer, our team will be on hand to offer swimming tips and fundraising advice along the way.

“By taking on Swim22, you’ll not only be swimming towards a healthier you. The money you raise will help fund our vital work, including the development of life-changing treatments and raising awareness of type 2 diabetes and how to manage it by making healthier choices day-to-day.

“So, please, sign up to Swim22 and make a splash for Diabetes UK.”

People taking part can swim in their local pool alone or with family, friends, or colleagues.

In addition to the standard 22-mile distance, there are two other challenges to choose from. Participants can do ‘The Half’, covering 11 miles – half the distance to France and still an impressive feat. More experienced swimmers may wish to take on ‘The Double’ – swimming 44 miles, the equivalent of swimming to France and back again.

There are some amazing rewards on offer for challengers, ranging from a Swim22 swimming cap to a limited-edition towel for anyone who raises more than £350.

To register for Swim22, visit There is no registration fee and no minimum sponsorship.

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