Adlington water baby Rosanna Ogden is hosting her second swimming gala to help benefit other little hearts, by raising money for national charity Heart Research UK.
The five-year-old, who could swim unaided before she could walk or talk and got her mile certificate by the age of four, was introduced to the water by her parents Sanam and Mick to build her stamina and strengthen her heart, after having open heart surgery to remove a rare tumour at just six-weeks-old.
Rosanna is now using her talent to raise money to help other heart patients.
Having started fund-raising when she was just two-years-old, she has already raised thousands of pounds for different heart charities.
Her swim last year attracted 80 people who helped raise £4,000.
This year’s ‘Rosanna Ogden’s Sponsored Swim’ will be held on August 1 at David Lloyd Centre in Chorley, and she is calling on swimmers of all ages to join her in the pool.
All abilities are welcome to go along and enter the sponsored swim anytime between 2pm and 7pm to complete a minimum of one length.
Rosanna will be joined by fellow Amateur Swimming Association (ASA) 2014 winners Zak Frisby and Benjamin Staniforth; both are eight-years-old and from Nottingham, as well as their swimming coach Marine Mace, who won the ASA Swimtastic Top Swim Teacher 2013.
Rosanna and Zak won their awards for using their abilities in the water to raise money for charities, and have set themselves a challenge of swimming one mile on the day, while Benjamin won the 2014 Young Swimmer of the Year and will swim five miles in the five hours.
So far there are 70 swimmers signed up, including the Great Britain water polo captain Rosie Morris.
An Emmerdale star will also be coming along to show their support, as well as triathletes Tom Carson and Lukas Siska.
Heart Research UK has recently expanded its activities to focus on children, including research into and providing rehabilitation for children leaving hospital after heart surgery or with a life-long condition.
The charity’s Helping Little Hearts campaign is aimed at creating a rehabilitation toolkit so that all young heart patients leaving hospital will have their own personal exercise prescription so they, their parents and carers know what type of fitness and lifestyle regime they can follow.
Rosanna’s mum, Sanam Ogden, said: “Rosanna is a fantastic swimmer and a successful fund-raiser and although she had a tumour on her heart, that won’t stop her reaching her dreams.
“We would like to help other heart patients like Rosanna, that’s why we are doing this.
“We need 200 swimmers, they need to get someone to sponsor them, and depending on how many lengths they swim, they will help us raise funds.”
Heart Research UK national director, Barbara Harpham, said: “Swimming is one of the best forms of exercise for your heart and will certainly help keep Rosanna’s heart as healthy as possible.
“Everything that is raised will go to helping little hearts especially our unique children’s rehabilitation programme for youngsters after heart surgery.”
On the day, there will be channel swimmers, open water swimmers and distance swimmers coming from all over the UK to take the plunge and raise money for Helping Little Hearts, including Alcatraz Shark Fest and English Channel swimmer Ian Johnson, from London.
All participants will receive a medal from Chorley mayor, Coun Marion Lowe, which is engraved with ‘Swim for Hearts’.
After the event, Rosanna will be holding a party at David Lloyd Centre which is open to the public to celebrate the swimmers’ efforts and the money raised for Heart Research UK.
This will include entertainment from comedian Shane Rich, live music from Groovy Ape Event Band, a barbecue, face painting and a raffle.
Anyone interested in joining in the swim is asked to email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.