Over 2,000 swimmers and around 6,000 spectators enjoyed this year’s Great East Swim at Alton Water reservoir in Holbrook near Ipswich on Saturday (20th June), with a very special line-up of entertainment including the world renowned soprano singer and SportsAid ambassador Laura Wright, who sang for the crowds before swimming a half mile. Entertainment throughout the day and a farmers’ market attracted friends and families to enjoy the day alongside the swimmers.

The Great East Swim, one of East Anglia’s biggest mass participation sporting events, was run in partnership with Suffolk County Council and the ‘Most Active County’ initiative, with the aim of increasing the county’s participation in sport and active recreation.

Altogether, there were 12 ‘waves’ of swimmers starting at hourly or half hourly intervals throughout the day with a variety of distances to appeal to all abilities, including  half mile, one mile, two mile and five kilometres. Many were raising money for charities, as well as achieving personal fitness goals.

The event included a 250 metre swim for 60 Year 6 (age 11) primary school pupils as part of the Great East Swim School’s Outreach Programme, a partnership between Suffolk County Council and Suffolk NORSE, who deliver the county’s school swimming programme.

Ex-England cricketer Matthew ‘Hoggy’ Hoggard also took part in the event, swimming a mile as part of his challenge to take on four of the Great Swims this summer in aid of the charity Cricket Without Boundaries (CWB).

Spectators enjoyed a local farmers’ market and a range of cultural and sport related stands in the Suffolk County Council ‘Most Active County’ village. Live entertainment during the day included performances from Laura Wright and from the nationally acclaimed Games Maker Choir, who performed at the London 2012 Olympic Games, Just Jay dance group, the Quattro Amici classical singers, the Children’s’ Theatre Company and the Co-op Juniors, who sang songs from their forthcoming Phantom of the Opera production.