LAUSANNE (SUI) - Last weekend, the Vaudoise Aréna, the largest aquatic centre in Switzerland, hosted its first 24 hour swim-marathon in collaboration with Myrtha Pools and Swiss Aquatics, to raise money for children’s cancer charity Léman Hope. 

Organised by Lausanne Aquatique, teams and individuals arrived on Saturday 8 October to commence their chosen distance. For every 1km swam during the 24 heures de Natation, 1 Swiss Franc was donated towards the charity. 

Swimmers and visitors were welcomed by Myrtha Pools CEO Roberto Colletto. Athletes from Swiss Aquatics were also present to tour the new facility, participate in activities throughout the weekend and cheer on the swimmers.  Swiss Aquatics divers Michelle Heimberg, Guillaume Dutoit, Jean-David Duval, Aurélien Petoud, Damian O'Dell and Pierrick Schafer and swimmers Jérémy Desplanches, Nils Liess, Nina Kost and Amélie Bertschi joined the event and participated in diving demonstrations, as well as dedicated warm-up and stretching sessions.  

Myrtha Pools CEO Roberto Colletto said, “I’m very excited to be here for the 24 hour swim charity event in an outstanding facility, in the City of Sport, Lausanne. I would like to thank all the teams and the stakeholders that made it possible to complete such a beautiful facility, one of the largest in Switzerland, but I’m sure the most advanced one. I’m happy to celebrate this centre with FINA and Swiss Aquatics: thank you for your support. And speaking of the Vaudoise Aréna, for us it’s a beacon, a model, an example. Thanks to the work of the Pont 12 architectural studio, it is an example of a beautiful and functional centre. A model that combines the best of aquatic technology available in terms of swimming pools and accessories not only for high-level athletes, but also for citizens." 

FINA Marketing Director James Moy said, “FINA is delighted to be supporting one of our longest-standing global partners following the installation of another state-of-the-art pool facility. These pools will provide a superb new focal point for aquatic sports in the city of Lausanne - the home of FINA’s headquarters - and the wider region. In addition, it is great to see the pools hosting such important charitable events as the 24 heures de Natation promoted by Léman Hope and Lausanne Aquatique.” 

On the morning of 9 October, Myrtha Pools provided all the participants with a filling breakfast to re-energise themselves after their long swims throughout the previous 24 hours. 

2022 marks the 37th year of the ‘24 heures de Natation’ which had its inauguration in 1984 thanks to the impetus of the then IOC President, Mr Juan Antonio Samaranch. Samaranch wanted to create an aquatic event for the Lausanne population which promoted the Olympic values of participation in the spirit of friendship over competition.  

FINA has partnered with Myrtha Pools since 2009 and Myrtha has provided Olympic and World Championships pools throughout that time. FINA has also worked with Myrtha to create and deliver FINA’s Pools for All Programme since 2019. The programme was designed to promote and develop grassroots aquatics participation and to ensure that all FINA National Federations have access to state-of-the-art facilities. This collaboration was renewed earlier this year at the 19th FINA World Championships in Budapest.