In the swim for Rosanna’s heart charity event

Rick Clement, James Goddard, Mayor of Chorley Coun Marion Lowe, Evie Goddard-Carr, seven, and Hartley the Heart from Heart Research UK
Rick Clement, James Goddard, Mayor of Chorley Coun Marion Lowe, Evie Goddard-Carr, seven, and Hartley the Heart from Heart Research UK
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More than 100 swimmers helped raise thousands of pounds for a heart charity thanks to the efforts of Chorley’s swimming superstar, Rosanna Ogden.

The five-year-old and her family, from Adlington, organised the event at David Lloyd Gym in Whittle-le-Woods on Saturday, and collected more than £6,000 for Heart Research UK.

“Rosanna, who is known as the mermaid of the north west, swam 100 lengths non stop”

Sanam Ogden

Rosanna was born with a tumour on her heart and underwent open heart surgery at just five weeks old.

She learnt to swim before she could walk or talk in order to build her strength and stamina, and has been taking part in sponsored swims since the age of two.

Joining Rosanna at the event was nine-year-old Thai boxer Maddox Lilley, also from Adlington, who is ranked the top Thai Boxer in the UK for his age, and in the five years he has been boxing has achieved the English, British and World titles.

Former soldier Sgt Rick Clement, who lost both legs while serving in Afghanistan, also backed the cause.

Rick, from Blackpool, lost both legs when he stepped on an explosive device while on foot patrol with the 1st Battalion the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment in 2010, but has fought back from this including taking part in swimming.

He’s encouraging his friends and former soldier colleagues to support Rosanna’s cause.

“I decided to get involved with Rosanna’s swim because she seems like an amazing little girl,” he said. “My dad had a few heart problems so this cause is also something that is quite close to me.”

Rosanna’s proud mum, Sanam, said: “The event was fantastic. Rosanna, who is known as the mermaid of the north west, swam 100 lengths non stop.

“Ian Johnson, the Alcatraz swimmer and channel swimmer from London, swam for the entire five hours!

“Other special guests included the mayor of Chorley Marion Lowe, triple Olympian James Goddard, and Anthony Quinlan from Emmerdale.”

To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/Rosanna-Ogden-heartresearchuk-2015.

- For more photos, see this week’s Chorley Guardian.