ONE MILLION SWIMMERS SOUGHT FOR THE “WORLD SWIM FOR MALARIA”
In what organizers aim to make the biggest charity splash in history, a campaign is on its way to recruiting one million swimmers to raise millions of dollars to fight malaria, the single biggest cause of child deaths in the world.
Since the word-of-mouth message went out last December, 150,000 swimmers-from schools, clubs, groups of friends and companies to Olympic champions around the world-have already signed up for the World Swim For Malaria on Dec. 3.
Rob Mather, who is running the global swim from his living room in London, says the rationale for the swim is simple: “The number of children who die from malaria each day would fill seven jumbo jets. Seventy percent of malaria deaths are children under 5. That makes malaria the world’s single largest killer of children. Yet malaria is preventable, and the most effective way of achieving that is to have people sleep under mosquito nets. It’s simple: if we swim, we save lives. If we don’t swim, we don’t save lives, so let’s swim. Malaria is born in water-let’s kill it in water.
“Every last cent raised will be spent on nets,” he pledges. “Install twenty $5.40 nets, and over the four-year life of those nets, one child doesn’t die. That’s $108 a life-a small price,” said Mather.
For frequent updates on the World Swim for Malaria, check out SwimmingWorldMagazine.com.
Copyright Sports Publications, Inc. Aug 2005
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