Wigan swimming teacher to take the plunge at an aquatic grueller in memory of her mum

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

This article contains affiliate links. We may earn a small commission on items purchased through this article, but that does not affect our editorial judgement.

A Wigan swimming teacher is set to make a splash when she dives into Swimathon 2023 in memory of her mum.

Susanne Lyon will swim 5K (200 laps) during the fundraiser at Total Fitness, Wigan where she works as a swimming teacher and fitness coach.

The 47-year-old is taking on the challenge in tribute to her mum, Shirley, who died last year from cancer of unknown primary – a cancer that has spread (secondary cancer) but it is unknown where it started (primary cancer).

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
Read More
New Lidl and Starbucks drive-thru could be coming to Wigan
Susanne Lyon with her beloved mum ShirleySusanne Lyon with her beloved mum Shirley
Susanne Lyon with her beloved mum Shirley

Susanne is also urging others to get poolside and join her in taking part in the world’s largest annual fundraising swim in aid of Cancer Research UK and the end-of-life charity Marie Curie.

Swimathon takes place from May 12 to 14 at participating venues across Greater Manchester and the UK.

Any swimmers who can’t make one of the organised sessions, can sign up to MySwimathon, which takes place from April 28 to May 21, and choose a time and venue that suits them.

With a variety of distances available - from 400m up to 30.9k - the sponsored event offers a challenge for swimmers young and old, new and experienced. People can participate individually or as part of a team.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
Susanne LyonSusanne Lyon
Susanne Lyon

Susanne, who swims short distances twice a week while leading her lessons, signed up to the event so that she could set herself a challenge and raise money for the charities close to her heart.

Shirley was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2016 and underwent two successful courses of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, before going into remission.

Then at the beginning of last year the 78-year-old started to feel unwell. Unfortunately, her health deteriorated and sadly Shirley passed away last June. Her cause of death was confirmed to be from metastasis - cancer that has spread from where it started to other parts of the body.

Now, by sharing her story, Susanne hopes to inspire others to get off the starting blocks and take on the Swimathon challenge themselves to help raise vital funds.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
Susanne LyonSusanne Lyon
Susanne Lyon

Susanne said: “My mum was so brave. She was an inspiration and so strong with what she went through. This challenge in comparison is nothing, I just need to get my mind right for it.

“Mum’s experience means I understand all too clearly why events such as Swimathon are so crucial to help fund the work of charities like Cancer Research UK and Marie Curie, which rely on our support.”

Susanne is keen to emphasise that you don’t need to be a super swimmer to take part.

She added: “Swimathon is such a fun and simple way to encourage people to dip their toe in the water and get swimming. It really doesn’t matter if you’re not the fittest or the fastest, it’ll be a great day for everyone and for two great causes.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“Plus, swimming is not just good for your body and fitness, it’s also really good for your mind. It chills you out, and you can just zone out and go into your own world.

“I hope swimmers of all ages and abilities grab their caps and costumes to help thousands of families in Wigan and throughout the UK.”

Swimathon has raised more than £55m for charity since it began in 1986. With rising energy costs putting some community pools at risk of closure, not only does the event support vital causes, £2.50 from the entry fee of everybody taking part at an official Swimathon venue is donated to help protect these pools for the future.

Cancer Research UK spokesperson for the North West, Jemma Humphreys said: “We are incredibly grateful to Susanne for her support. There’s a distance to suit everyone with Swimathon and there are also lots of great benefits to taking part, not least the chance to enjoy the water.

“One in two of us will get cancer in our lifetime*, but all of us can support the research that will beat it. From proving the link between smoking and cancer, to laying the foundations for modern radiotherapy – our scientists have been at the forefront of cancer research for 120 years. And we’re not stopping now. That’s why we’re urging swimmers to dive in, raise money and help us keep making new discoveries and breakthroughs. Together we will beat cancer.”

Marie Curie’s director of community fundraising, Jayne Waterhouse, said: “Swimathon is an iconic event in the Marie Curie calendar and one we all look forward to every year. The exciting and inclusive challenge sees thousands of people take the plunge with sponsored swims up and down the country, whilst raising money to help Marie Curie support those affected by terminal illness.

“The money that Marie Curie receives through Swimathon fundraisers goes towards helping our nurses, bereavement counsellors, and support line staff to deliver vital care and support to

people with a terminal illness and their families across the UK. Do something amazing for your health and well-being and for people across the UK who are dealing with terminal illness – sign up for Swimathon.”

Sign up for Swimathon 2023 at swimathon.org

Donate to Susanne’s Swimathon at Susanne’s swim