IN just under 49 minutes five children from Andover raised over £400 by together swimming 7.5 kilometres (4.66 miles) in the Andover Leisure Centre Swimming pool.

That was a staggering 1.5 kilometres or 60 lengths for each girl.

Leslie Channell, proud father of one of the girls, said: “The girls aged between eight and 10 have all been swimming for a few years.

“Each has successfully passed all levels of the ‘Learn to Swim’ programme run by the Leisure Centre including the rookie lifeguard level where they became qualified by the Royal Life Saving Society to assist other swimmers who may be in difficulty.

“More recently the girls joined the Andover Swimming and Water Polo Club. It was after a club swimming session one Sunday morning that the challenge to Swim 1.5 Kilometres each first began.

“Earlier this year, after a swim the girls noticed a poster outside the changing room. The poster was asking swimmers of all ages to take up the challenge to swim in a ‘Swimathon’ in aid of Sport Relief.

“They talked and decided that they wanted to take up the challenge.”

Having got all of their parents to agree on them entering, the team now called ‘Andover Girls’ set about raising sponsorship.

The Sport Relief website provided them with a target of £200 of which they have completely smashed by raising over £400.