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Gary Lineker Condones Diving

23 April 2012

In 466 professional appearances, not a single yellow or red card was brandished at England striker turned TV presenter Gary Lineker. But a recent trip to a Sport Relief-funded project in Bangladesh has changed his mind about the virtue of staying on your feet whilst competing.

“I’m not usually a fan of diving, but if you’re going to do it, make sure you do it for a good cause!” said Gary.  “Next weekend’s Big Splash Mile for Sport Relief is the first chance to do your bit in a pool for what has already been an amazing year for the charity.  I’ve seen first-hand the enormous good your efforts can do at a lifesaving learn-to-swim project in Bangladesh, so dive in!  You don’t have to swim the Mile on your own - unless you really want to – form a team of friends and family.”

Around 17,000 children drown each year in Bangladesh. Flooding and cyclones are frequent, adding to the daily risk presented by ponds and rivers throughout the country.  With support from money raised by Sport Relief, the project Gary visited trains community youth volunteers to teach swimming and water safety skills to other children in their towns and villages, helping to reduce the number of deaths by drowning.

The Big Splash Mile for Sport Relief takes place at 645 pools between 27-29 April, giving people across the UK the chance, for the first time, to swim a mile for the charity. Entries are open until 25 April 2012 at www.bbc.co.uk/bigsplash or www.swimathon.org.

All entrants can take advantage of a free Swimfit one-week training plan - developed by experts at British Swimming to help swimmers of all abilities go to greater lengths in the pool. 

The event is part of the Swimathon Weekend 2012, the world’s biggest fundraising swim. In its 25th year, Swimathon has joined forces with Marie Curie Cancer Care, the BBC’s and British Swimming’s Big Splash, and Sport Relief to give thousands of swimmers the opportunity to raise vital funds through Swimathon’s traditional Distance Challenges and the new ‘Big Splash Mile for Sport Relief’.

Money raised by Milers will be spent by Comic Relief to help people living incredibly tough lives; both here, at home in the UK, and across the world's poorest countries. Funds raised by those diving into one of Swimathon’s traditional longer distance challenges (5k or 2.5k) will help Marie Curie Cancer Care to provide free nursing care and support for people with terminal cancer and other illnesses.

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