A RESOLUTE trio who got on their bikes to raise vital funds for an amateur swimming club splashed down to a heroes welcome.

For three gruelling days, the parents rode from the centre of London via Oxford and Birmingham, arriving back in Saddleworth after covering 280 miles.

Graham Redfearn, the club’s timing expert, Dave Rawson, treasurer, and Mark Norcliffe, who handles membership, set out to raise £500 each towards a new starter system, lane rope repairs and starting blocks for Saddleworth Amateur Swimming Club (SASC).

Graham, a 45-year-old chartered surveyor and father of three, said : “We are all keen cyclists and thought it would be good to set ourselves an endurance cycling challenge and raise some money for SASC.

“We stayed in hotels in Iffley, Oxford on Saturday night and Oldbury, Birmingham on Sunday.

“The routes were superbly planned and crafted by Dave on Strava using the National Cycling Network, where possible, avoiding major roads. The routes were upload to Garmin devices and used for navigation.

“All our children swim at the club but unfortunately the club’s starter system needs to be replaced, after many years service, to be used at swimming galas.

“Other items are due for replacement and repairs include the lanes ropes and starter blocks.

He added: “On our return, we were greeted by a warm reception from the club’s swimmers, parents and friends, showing the great community spirit and support for the club.”

And there was an added bonus — because the club won a gala that night against Stalybridge.

The club, established more than 30 years ago, focuses on developing local swimmers, getting more swimmers in the water, building and engendering a life-long love of the sport.

It is part of the elite athlete pathway where talented swimmers are identified and encouraged to develop including regional, national and international competition standards.

Over the years a number of Olympic and Commonwealth games athletes as members of the club; Jess Lloyd, who swam in the 2012 London Olympics and Ben Procter who swam in the 2012 London Paralympics.

The club competes in local gala leagues and runs a number of internal competitions. Additionally we encourage our members to take part in open galas, triathlons & other swimming events.

It was recently awarded the Swim21 national standard by Swim Mark demonstrating commitment to being an effective, ethical and sustainable club.

Donations to the marathon ride can still be made at: www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/saddleworth-swimmingclub?utm_term=6zEV23M3W