Youngster hoping Hucknall swimmers join his charity fundraising event

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A young Hucknall swimmer is taking to the water to raise thousands of pounds for a children’s hospice and hopes Dispatch readers will join him.

Zak Frisby is staging Zak’s Big Swimathon at Hucknall Leisure Centre on Saturday, July 16, 1-6pm, to raise money for Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People.

Mum Kerry Townsend, 33, said: “He has put so much in to this event, we really do hope people will come along and support him and Rainbows.”

When he was younger, Zak hated swimming and would scream when he went near the water.

But In 2011, his aunty Nic passed away from leukaemia at the age of 26. Zak, who was very close to Nic, gained a new focus and took to the water.

Now competing with the Hucknall Falcons club, Zak is ranked Britain’s number two in the under-nines freestyle and has his sights set on being an Olympian.

Zak also began fundraising in 2015. Kerry said: “Zak said he wanted to buy aunty Nic a present, so he came up with the idea of raising money in her memory. He raised just over £6,000 for Caudwell House, a children’s home in Southwell, to buy a magic interactive carpet.”

“This year, we told Zak about a few charities and he chose Rainbows. A lot of children who go to Caudwell House also use Rainbows and we also lost a very dear friend who was cared for at Rainbows.”

Zak does not know how far he will swim, but alongside his sponsorship, he is charging people a pound to guess how many lengths he will do.

There will also be a range of activities happening at the leisure centre including crafts, a cake stall, face painting, a bouncy castle and a tombola.

Kerry added: “He does all of this off his own back. If anything, we try to pull him back a bit and rely on his coaches to guide him.”

Rainbows fundraiser Maggie Deere said: “We’d like to thank Zak for taking on this challenge and supporting the work of Rainbows.

“Without the efforts of people like him, we wouldn’t be able to provide care for hundreds of children and young people with life-limiting and terminal conditions.”

Anyone who wants to join Zak in the pool, or support the event in other ways, can contact Kerry on 07708 946991 or zaksbigswim@outlook.com.