THERE is an opportunity to improve your swimming endurance, have fun and raise cash for good causes by taking part in Swimathon 2020.

To mark the event, which takes place between March 27 and 29 at 600 venues nationwide, we are taking a look at pictures of previous South Cumbrian entrants who have featured in The Mail's archive.

The event raises cash for Cancer Research UK and Marie Curie and venues already registered to host dedicated Swimathon sessions include Kendal Leisure Centre - from 1pm to 4pm on March 28 and 1pm to 4pm on March 29.

Copeland Pool and Fitness Centre, Whitehaven, is also taking part on March 28 from 2.30pm to 5.30pm and March 29 from 9am to 12pm.

Apart from organised sessions there is the opportunity to join in at a place and time to suit you - with distance challenges ranging from 400m to The Triple 5k.

This is called My Swimathon and can take place between Friday, March 20 and Sunday, April 5.

The Mail, on Thursday, March 26 in 1998, noted: "Swimming enthusiasts took the plunge at Barrow's Park Leisure Centre baths and raised around £2,000 for the BT Swimathon '98.

"Barrow mayor, Cllr Margaret Martindale, signalled the off for an event which was split into two sessions.

"The youngest swimmer on the day at Barrow was Lindsay Pedley, aged nine.

"Mr D. Dixon completed the course in the quickest time with the fastest tram being Barrow ladies.

"Amy McArthur, aged 10, and part of the McArthur family who raised around £140 for charities, had intended to swim 2,500m but completed 5,000m.

In July 1998 Rotary Club of Furness president Bill Nickson presented Swimathon trophies at the Chetwynde Hotel, Barrow.

The junior trophy was won by St Columba's School, represented at the presentation by Catherine McCarten, Lucy Clayton, Luke Vandome, Ben Tyson and teacher Sarah Heywood.

The senior trophy went to members of the Lakes Aikido, who were represented by  David O'Brien and Ian Downward.

Among the 1999 Barrow Swimathon entrants was Pauline Kay who raised £175 for the NSPCC and St Mary's Hospice at Ulverston.

She did her 5,000m swim in an hour and 47 minutes, broking her previous best for the distance by three minutes

In April 2003 the oncology unit at Furness General Hospital received £179.50 from a Swimathon effort of more than six miles in three-and-a-half hours at the Park Leisure Centre,  Barrow, by Sharon Harris.