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Hundreds will take plunge in Tom’s memory

January 4th, 2019

Nearly 600 swimmers will join together to create a splash this weekend in memory of a teenager who died unexpectedly, aged 13.

Swim for Tom is part of a major initiative to raise £100,000 towards a dedicated fund in Tom’s name to pay for a PhD research project into leukaemia.

Tom was a pupil at Monmouth School for Boys and his death last June has been felt by the community.

A total of 570 swimmers have signed up for Sunday’s (6th January) swimathon in the pool at Monmouth School for Girls and they will aim to cover a distance of 430km – equivalent to the length of the River Wye and back – and a total of 17,200 lengths.

Tom’s sister Holly, a pupil at Monmouth School for Girls, organised the swimathon, which is being supported by Cancer Research Wales, with fellow pupil Katie Cameron.

Holly also designed the event logo.

Tom’s dad, Tim Walker, said: “We have 570 swimmers and 60 volunteers signed up for the swimathon- which is amazing. It promises to be a memorable day, and lasting until 9pm.”

He added: “All money raised will go to a dedicated fund named after Tom that will be used by Cancer Research Wales to fund research into leukaemia.”

Tom was a keen swimmer for Monmouth School for Boys, and Monnow Swimming Club, and was learning to row on the River Wye.

Less than three months before he died, and before he knew he had leukaemia, Tom raised several hundred pounds for Cancer Research Wales by taking part in a night hike up Pen y Fan, in which he was the youngest participant.

Last month, the Walker family christened a new rowing boat, called The Otter, in memory of Tom at Monmouth School for Boys’ Rowing Club.

The Otter – named after Tom’s favourite mammal – was bought with funds raised by pupils and with money from Tom’s estate.

A wonderful legacy, The Otter will be used widely by school’s J14 and J15 rowers in training and in competitions.

Online donations can be made via https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/swimfortom. For more information about Swim for Tom, please e-mail: swimfortom@gmail.com or follow the event page on Instagram: @swimfortom

Tom’s sister, Emily, has also raised funds for Cancer Research Wales.
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