Suffolk public relations agency Genesis PR has won a competitive pitch to manage the PR campaign for this year’s Great East Swim.

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And to underline their commitment to the event, and to developing their health and fitness, members of the Genesis team have also signed up to take part in the swim, which takes place at Alton Water, near Ipswich, on Saturday, June 21.

The contract secured by Genesis from event organiser Nova International also includes managing the PR for the Great London Swim, being held at the Millwall Dock on August 30.

The Great East Swim is one of East Anglia’s most popular mass participation sporting events, with more than 2,000 swimmers of all abilities expected to take part this year, watched by thousands more friends, family and colleagues. The Team Challenge, which Genesis has entered and is open to all businesses in East Anglia, involves a one mile swim across an open water course.

Penny Arbuthnot, director of Genesis PR, said: “This is one of East Anglia’s premier sporting events and it’s a boost to our local economy with many of the entrants and their supporters coming from all over the country.

“There are prizes in the Team Challenge but for us it’s about the shared experience of working on our personal fitness and the excitement of a 1 mile swim in open water. We call on Suffolk’s employers to take up the Team Challenge with us.”

She added: “We are also very pleased to have won a competitive pitch for the Nova International PR account and are enjoying working on both the Great East and Great London PR campaigns.”

The Great East Swim Team Challenge is for between four and eight swimmers per team. There are three categories (male, female and mixed (mixed teams must have a minimum of two females and two males) and the accumulated first four finish times in each team will count.

The fastest overall team in each category will be awarded an engraved trophy, with second and third places in each category also awarded prizes. Entry fees cost £33 per person (£27.50 plus 20% VAT).

For individual entrants to the Great East Swim there is a choice of half-mile (for those aged 12 or over), one mile (aged 16 or over), two miles and 5,000 metre courses with swimmers starting in “waves” throughout the day.

The event gives a boost to Suffolk tourism and is a showcase for the county with a farmers’ market of the best of Suffolk produce running alongside it. Suffolk County Council and its Most Active County initiative are partners in the event with the aim of increasing the county’s participation in sport and active recreation.

The Great East Swim is one of five in the “Great Swim” series, which is the biggest exhibition of open water swimming in Europe. The Swims takes place in clean and safe lakes, lochs and urban docks nationwide each year.

Nova International, headed by Olympic distance runner Brendan Foster, is the organiser behind the series, with the Great East swim is organized in partnership with Suffolk County Council.

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