65-year-old Len completes his 25th consecutive swimathon for Sport Relief

PUBLISHED: 19:07 25 March 2014 | UPDATED: 19:07 25 March 2014

Len Phoenix has just organised his 25th swim author at Stradbroke pool.

Len Phoenix has just organised his 25th swim author at Stradbroke pool.

Archant norfolk

A 65-year-old completed his 25th consecutive 5km swimathon in a row to help raise money for Sport Relief.

Dedicated swimmer Len Phoenix has completed the challenge for the past quarter of a century but suffered a potential setback when he was diagnosed with an uneven heartbeat.

However after help from a consultant and the British Heart Foundation, he continues to swim regularly at Stradbroke Pool - and beat his target time of 1h 25mins last week to match the time he set in 1995.

However a modest Mr Phoenix - a swimming instructor who has competed at local, regional and national levels, as well as international level as a veteran - said the swimathon represented a series of individual achievements, rather than just one.

He also highlighted the efforts organiser Maria Smith - who completed her 18th swimathon - and nine-year-old Arlo Foster, who set a target of completing 1.5km.

“5,000 metres later, Arlo amazed everyone with his extended accomplishment,” said Mr Phoenix.

In total 111 swimmers took part in the event over a series of sessions held at the pool last week.

Ex-Olympic swimmer Duncan Goodhew even came down to offer them some encouragement.

“Everyone was knocked backwards by his quite incredible character,” said Mr Phoenix. “He is inspiring and a huge enthusiast.

“For a rural community, Stradbroke’s fund-raising is fantastic and always in the thousands. No doubt this year we will be sending Sport Relief a big pot of money.”

Are you doing something for charity in South Norfolk? Tell EDP reporter Andrew Papworth by calling 01379 651153 or email

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