THIS weekend, nearly 600 swimmers will join together for a swimathon held in memory of a Devauden teenager who died unexpectedly last June, aged 13.

The Swim for Tom event, which is being supported by Cancer Research Wales, is part of a major initiative to raise £100,000 towards a dedicated fund in the name of Monmouth School for Boys pupil Tom Walker, who died of leukaemia.

A total of 570 swimmers have signed up for the event, which was arranged by Tom’s sister Holly, a pupil at Monmouth School for Girls, with the help of fellow pupil Katie Cameron, in the pool at Monmouth School for Girls on Sunday, January 6.

Holly also designed the event logo.

They will aim to cover a distance of 430 kilometres – equivalent to the length of the River Wye and back – and a total of 17,200 lengths.

Tom’s dad, Tim Walker said the number of people who had signed up was "amazing".

"It promises to be a memorable day,” he said.

He added: “All money raised will go to a dedicated fund named after Tom that will be used by Cancer Research Wales to fund research into leukaemia.”

Tom was a keen swimmer for Monmouth School for Boys and Monnow Swimming Club, and was learning to row on the River Wye.

Less than three months before he died, and before he knew he had leukaemia, Tom - a keen swimmer - raised several hundred pounds for Cancer Research Wales by taking part in a night hike up Pen y Fan, in which he was the youngest participant.

Last month, the Walker family christened a new rowing boat, called The Otter, in memory of Tom at Monmouth School for Boys’ Rowing Club.

The Otter – named after Tom’s favourite mammal – was bought with funds raised by pupils and with money from Tom’s estate.

The boat will be used widely by school’s rowers in training and in competitions.

Online donations can be made via

For more information about Swim for Tom, e-mail or follow the event page on Instagram: @swimfortom