Small Isle club with a big heart honours former chairman

Members of an Isle swimming club have raised over £5,200 for Weston Park Hospital in Sheffield, in memory of their former chairman, Jonathan Exton.

Monday, 4th February 2019, 8:42 am
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 4:17 pm
Jonathan Exton

Jonathan,of Belton, lost his battle with cancer eight months ago, devastating the local community in which he was well known.

Fellow members of the Epworth-based club, South Axholme Sharks, have held fundraising events since May last year , including a sponsored swim, when they collectively swam the equivalent of 10 crossings of the English Channel.

An emotional presentation evening took place last week, when the Jonathan Exton Sportsmanship Awards were handed out in his memory, and the funds raised were presented to Weston Park representatives.

Presentation of cheque by South Axholme Sharks to Weston Park Hospital

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Mr Exton's daughter Emily is a member of the club. His widow, Zoe, 46, who was at the presentation, said: "Each and every member of the club has come together to make a real difference to cancer patients locally. Just fantastic. 

"I’m very proud that Jonathan has inspired the club he thought so very much of, to prove South Axholme Sharks really lives up to its motto of Small Club Big Heart.

“Emily has done fundraising with her friends – they organised a bake sale, and friends have done 10k runs and other efforts. My niece did a sponsored sky dive too.

“All together over £10,500 has been raised for Weston Park.

Jonathan and Zoe Exton

“I will be doing an inflatable assault course with work colleagues this year. Jon was a strong, inspirational person who never moaned. He did a tremendous amount at the swimming club and his loss has been challenging for everyone. 

“I have been comforted by the outpouring of feeling shown for Jon.” 

Head coach Stuart Livingstone said: “Jonathan was a long-standing club member who did so much for the community and for the club.

“He embodied the whole ethos here.”