FORMER Team GB swimmer Mark Foster is calling on people across Somerset to take the plunge and sign up for Swimathon 2022.

The pool hero is helping highlight the annual fundraiser in aid of Cancer Research UK and Marie Curie.

People of all ages and abilities can enter the sponsored event in pools across Somerset from May 6-8, including Taunton, Bridgwater, Yeovil, Portishead, Bath and other towns.

Participants can chose between distances from 400m to 30.9k individually or in teams.

Any swimmers who can’t make an organised session can sign up to MySwimathon from April 29-May 15, and choose a time and venue to suit.

Mark said: "Swimming is a fantastic form of exercise, with a wide range of benefits for both your physical and mental health and is accessible to people with varying abilities and needs.

"So, whether you’re a keen swimmer who is in the pool all the time, prefer to be in open water or if you are just dipping your toes in for the first time, Swimathon is the perfect challenge for everyone.

"That’s why I’m asking everyone to get involved and feel the benefits of this fantastic sport whilst raising money for two great charities.”

Since launching in 1986, more than 750,000 swimmers have taken part, raising over £55 million for charitable causes.

This year, the Swimathon Foundation will donate £2.50 from every entry fee at an official Swimathon venue to help protect these pools for the future.

Alison Birkett, Cancer Research UK spokesperson for Somerset, said: “It really doesn’t matter if you’re not the fittest or the fastest, Swimathon is such a fun and simple way to encourage people to get swimming – all while supporting causes which are close to the hearts of so many.

“One on two of us will get cancer, 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 this spring, raise money and help us keep investing in science today to deliver the treatments of tomorrow. Together we will beat cancer.”

Sign up for Swimathon 2022 at before March 16 with the code SPRINGSALE35 for a 35 per cent registration discount.