Rotarians peddled their way around Marine Lake in Southport for the first Purple Flamingo, Purple for Polio Pedalo Race on Sunday (25th September 2022).
The event was organised by The Rotary Club of Southport in order to raise funds and awareness for Rotary’s ongoing campaign to eradicate polio. They were ably supported by Southport Water Sports.
The winners, romping home by a beak, were Roger Thwaites and John Gartside.
John Gartside said: “I thoroughly enjoyed the race! It was great fun but hard work, for a great cause.
“I would love to do it all again, just not this afternoon!”
The organiser of the event was International Committee chairman of The Rotary Club of Southport Barry Sillito.
He said: “The Marine Lake is one of the biggest and best man-made lakes in the North West, and we really should be doing things like this to make the most of it!
“If anyone thought this race would be chaotic – it was! But I think everyone who took part and everyone who came to cheer on the competitors really enjoyed it.
“I would also like to thank Southport Watersports and everyone else who helped us to make this event possible.
“Rotary is all about service above self, as well as being all about fellowship, and this event achieved both of those objectives.”
The first racers set off near the Marine Lake Cafe and Bar at around 2.30pm.
Visitors gathered to cheer on the event and were generous in donating to the Rotarians out collecting, as they continued with their campaign to eradicate polio.
Polio is a paralysing and potentially deadly infectious disease that most commonly affects children under the age of five. The virus spreads from person to person, typically through contaminated water.
Rotary has been working to eradicate polio for more than 35 years, with its goal of ridding the world of this disease is closer than ever.
The Rotary Club of Southport organised its Purple Flamingo, Purple for Polio Pedalo raceahead of World Polio Day, which takes place on 24th October.
Barry Sillito said: “We have ordered 4,000 crocus corms again this year and are looking to plant them in Victoria Park in Southport, St John’s in Crossens, Botanic Gardens in Churchtown and some roundabouts and window boxes.
“But while I was walking around Marine Lake with my darling wife, I had a brilliant eureka moment for another polio fundraiser.”
The trophies were presented by Stand Up For Southport founder Andrew Brown.