Rotorua children will be swimming to make a difference and you can be a part of it too.

Rotary Rotorua Sunrise, in association with Swim Rotorua, are holding a Rotorua Swim Marathon charity challenge at the Rotorua Aquatic Centre on Sunday March 25 from 9am to 1pm.

There will be a sausage sizzle, spot prizes and lucky donor draw.

The goal for the day is to swim a collective marathon (42km) to raise funds to vaccinate children against the polio virus.


Rotary Rotorua Sunrise member David Jones says there are 850 tickets and each one represents a 50m length.

He says they have got Swim Rotorua involved but it is a long way to swim, and there are other people swimming to cover the length.

David Boles, a top Rotorua 17-year-old swimmer will swim 10km on the day, with Patchell Industries sponsoring $1000 for him to swim, he says.

David says their objective for the day is to vaccinate 5000 children overseas to end polio.

It costs $5 for a 50m length and if you put your name on the length the child will swim for you.

Polio mainly affects young children.

David says the special thing about this Swim Marathon is it is children swimming to vaccinate children.

At the end, the children will get a certificate saying how many lengths they swum and how many children they have helped vaccinate.


"All the kids we can vaccinate are safe and stops it from spreading."

In 1985 Rotary International made a commitment to the eradication of Polio in the wold.

There were 350,000 cases of wild polio in 1988 and just 22 in 2017.

He says a lot of people in the local community are asking why they should support it, and that if this disease got away again it could be rampant.

"We are so close but if we don't beat it, it will flare up again."

It can cause permanent muscle weakness, resulting in paralysis.

The weakness/paralysis most often affects the muscles of the legs, but may less commonly involve the muscles of the head, neck or diaphragm. It can be fatal.

It cannot be cured but the weak muscles are managed with walking aides.

Polio can be prevented by children getting a polio vaccine.

Polio is still present and a crippling threat to children in Afghanistan, Pakistan, South Sudan and Nigeria.

Bill and Melinda Gates are also giving $2 for every $1 raised.

Those who would like to sponsor a length and buy a ticket can contact David Jones on (027) 672 4034.

You can also donate directly into the Rotary Rotorua Sunrise back account 020 416 0039777 00.