Lord Mayor to open sponsored swim for Oxford’s Nicaraguan twin city

Published: Tuesday, 4th July 2017

The Lord Mayor of Oxford, Councillor Jean Fooks, new Oxford East MP Anneliese Dodds and BBC journalist Bill Heine will open a sponsored swim to raise funds for Oxford’s twinned city of León, Nicaragua

They will open the event at 4.30pm on Friday (7 July) at Hinksey Heated Outdoor Pool, Abingdon Road.

The annual sponsored swim, which is organised by the Oxford León Association, raises money for clean drinking water projects in and around León.

The swim is open to anyone, with no minimum or maximum length count. Sponsorship forms can be found at tiny.cc/leonswim2017

The association has been raising funds, exchanging delegations and promoting understanding between Oxford and León for more than 30 years.

León has been twinned with Oxford since 1986. It is the second largest city in Nicaragua, has an ancient cathedral and the oldest university in Central America.

Nicaragua is one of the poorest countries in Latin America.

Councillor Fooks said: “This is a wonderful opportunity for people in Oxford to raise funds to provide clean water for desperately poor people living near León, our twin city in Nicaragua.”

Anneliese Dodds MP said: “I will be swimming to raise much-needed cash for clean water projects in Nicaragua. I can hardly imagine what it must be like to bring up a family without having clean water.”

Oxford City Councillors taking part in the sponsored swim include Councillors John Tanner and Mike Rowley, who have both visited León.

Councillor Tanner, who is also chair of the Oxford León Association, said: “I plan to do my usual ‘tenner-for-Tanner’ and do 10 lengths. Helping poor families not to have to depend on wells contaminated by arsenic has to be a good cause.”