Weymouth & Portland Lions Club - Christmas Day Harbour Swim
Every year thousands of people line the harbour at Weymouth to witness this annual Lions event which has become a landmark event for the town.
For those brave enough to suffer a Christmas morning dip, the 70-metre-plus distance starts from the Cove on Trinity Road and finishes across the water opposite the Harbour Master’s office on Custom House Quay. Swimmers are split into up to 10 groups of 50, with some swimmers racing across the distance in just a few minutes. Safety is a major consideration, and swimmers are required to purchase a ticket and are counted into the water at the start and counted out at the opposite end. Sea canoeists from the RNLI are on the water and are able to assist swimmers who get into difficulty. Help is also on hand from MV Freedom, a local charity that enables disabled people to enjoy boat trips around the outer harbour and Portland. On Christmas Day it helps the Lions by providing a ferry service across the harbour.
It’s estimated that spectator numbers were well over 1,500 in 2021 supporting a total of 360 determined swimmers. The whole event lasts for just over an hour and many of those who take part then go on to enjoy a well-earned pint with perhaps a turkey lunch in a local public house.
Weymouth & Portland Lions Club (CIO) was formed in 1969 under the Lions International motto ‘We Serve’.
Currently there are around 18 members from all walks of life who work to raise money to help those in need in the local community.
All our meetings are held at 19.00 hrs in the Moonfleet bowls club, Weymouth. We meet on the third Tuesday for a business meeting.
Most of the money raised is spent locally, although the club does, in line with all Lions Clubs, contribute to the Lions International Fund which helps to support humanitarian projects throughout the world.
Lions are members of Lions Clubs International, a community service organisation dedicated to the idea that the men and women who live in a community are in the best position to know who needs help.
Registered with the Charity Commission for England & Wales - Number - 1200524
Harbourside, Cove Row, Weymouth Harbourside, DT4 8TT Weymouth
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