Water great way to raise money

Aquathon at the Mermaid pool near Aylsham in aid of Diabetes UK.Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Aquathon at the Mermaid pool near Aylsham in aid of Diabetes UK.Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

A worldwide Aquathon has taken part in north Norfolk to raise money for Diabetes UK and to promote aqua fitness.

Aquathon at the Mermaid pool near Aylsham in aid of Diabetes UK. Pictured is Fiona Riley and Mary Bl

Aquathon at the Mermaid pool near Aylsham in aid of Diabetes UK. Pictured is Fiona Riley and Mary Bloor with some of the people taking part in the Aquathon.Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

The three-hour-long event was attended by more than 30 people at the Mermaid Pool in Aylsham.

Aquathon at the Mermaid pool near Aylsham in aid of Diabetes UK. Pictured is Fiona Riley. Picture:

Aquathon at the Mermaid pool near Aylsham in aid of Diabetes UK. Pictured is Fiona Riley. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

They all participated in various pool-based activities, including aqua Zumba.

The Aquathon, set up three years ago by Rose Hartzenberg from South Africa, took place in 73 countries and 174 venues across the globe on the same day and at the same time.

Fiona Riley, 49, a fitness instructor from Cawston, was in charge of this years Aquathon for Norfolk.

She was also one of only three people who represented England for the global event.

She said: 'The day was to promote aqua fitness and also to raise money for a charity that is close to my heart.

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'My husband had diabetes and it was because of aqua-based fitness workouts that he actually stopped having it.

'I wanted to prove to anybody that you don't have to go to the gym or lift heavy weights to lose weight and I wanted to lose the stigma attached to aqua classes.

'A lot of people think that only older people or just women do it, but my husband, brother and son all attended and enjoyed it.'

Mrs Riley started her fitness career in 2011 after impressively going from a size 20 to a size 6/8 by doing various exercises including aqua fitness.

She was thrilled with the turnout.

She added: 'Lots were asking me afterwards if there was going to be another one next year and those that hadn't tried it before are wanting to do it again.'

Through ticket sales for the day and donations to the Just Giving page, the total so far stands at £350.

To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/Fiona-fundraising-page