Petworth and Pulborough Scouts swim distance to Korea for Jamboree

Twenty-nine young swimmers took part in a Scouting Swimathon at Billingshurst Leisure Centre on Saturday, April 9, to fundraise for the World Scout Jamboree.
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The Swimathon was held to raise money to support the six Petworth & Pulborough District Scouts and Explorers who have been selected to travel to Korea next summer to attend the World Scout Jamboree.

The Scouts, James Cordy, Josh Leach, Joe Plant, Joshua Pullen, Gray Vibert, and Luke Witney, from Billingshurst and Pulborough will be among the UK representatives heading across the world next year.

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They have each been tasked with raising £4,000 for the trip. Part of that money will support scouts from less affluent countries to also take part.

James, Josh, Joe, Joshua, Gray and Luke will be among the UK Scouts heading to South Korea next yearJames, Josh, Joe, Joshua, Gray and Luke will be among the UK Scouts heading to South Korea next year
James, Josh, Joe, Joshua, Gray and Luke will be among the UK Scouts heading to South Korea next year

The 29 swimmers, aged between eight and 17, clocked up a total of 1,767 lengths against a target of 1,320 lengths, which would be the equivalent number of metres to the distance in miles from West Sussex to South Korea, 5,500 miles away.

Bridget Cordy mum to one of the six Scouts, said: “A huge thank you to everyone who took part in this fantastic evening. It was great to see that every young person really challenged themselves, which is part of what scouting is all about, and the results were off the charts.

“I think we lost count of how many swam further than they had ever swum before! There were lots of tired and happy faces after such an incredible achievement, they were all amazing.

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“Thank you to all their parents for supporting our first ever Swimathon and all the generous sponsors. It’s very much appreciated. We’d also like to thank Ryan and the team at Billingshurst Leisure Centre for all their support and help in the lead up to the event and on the evening itself. They really made sure everything ran smoothly which made for a very successful event.”

Each Swimathon participant was awarded a certificate and a badge, which features a Siberian tiger, the national animal of Korea, and was designed especially for the UK contingent heading to the jamboree.

The World Scout Jamboree is held once every four years and brings together around 40,000 scouts from across the world. It is a skills, cultural and adventure festival that offers the chance for young people to experience different cultures, languages and cuisine while also learning new skills that they can use in other aspects of their life.

UK Chief Scout Bear Grylls said: “After two very difficult years, it is so important that these young people have this opportunity. The 2023 Jamboree, hosted by Korea, is set to be one of the biggest and most exciting yet.

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The theme is ‘Think big. Dream wild. Act together’ – focusing especially on how Scouts can be trailblazers in creating a sustainable world together.”

To contribute to their fundraising, contact Bridget at [email protected].

For information about the jamboree, visit www.scouts.org.uk/volunteers/running-your-section/international-scouts-and-events/international-events/wsj

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