Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Depeche Mode among long list of stars supporting Swiss Cottage schoolgirl

17:13 13 February 2014

Mia Moon, aged 11, swimming at Swiss Cottage Leisure Centre. Picture: Polly Hancock

Mia Moon, aged 11, swimming at Swiss Cottage Leisure Centre. Picture: Polly Hancock

Polly Hancock

Some of the world’s biggest sports stars, music legends and Hollywood actors have lent their support to an 11-year-old schoolgirl as she becomes one of the first members of the public to swim in the London 2012 Olympic swimming pool.

Golfing legends Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Colin Montgomerie joined electronic music superstars Depeche Mode, actor Rhys Ifans and a host of other big names in donating to Mia Moon’s bid to raise money for Sports Relief.

The young St John’s Wood resident hopes to swim 1,500m in the newly-built pool at the London Aquatics Centre, in the Olympic Park, Stratford, where Ellie Simmonds won four London Paralympics medals in 2012.

A mass Twitter campaign, in which Mia sent more than a 1,000 tweets in just five days, has seen her charity fundraising go around the world, so far raising more than £700.

Mia’s original target of raising £100 was smashed in just one day and she has now had to revise it to £1,000 – a total she hopes to achieve before she joins others for the swimathon on March 23.

“The London Olympics was inspiring and it’s made me determined to become an Olympian,” said Mia, a pupil at UCL Academy in Swiss Cottage.

“But it was really the Paralympics that drove me to want to raise money for good causes. I love helping charities and my community and I hope to inspire other young people to do the same.

“It’s great receiving all these donations from so many big sports stars, but my favourite was from the founder of Swimming Nature, Eduardo Ferre.

“He wrote to me saying I had inspired his 10-year-old daughter to swim for charity too.”

The swimathon is part of the Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Games, which takes place from March 21 to 23.

There are more than 600 participating pools nationwide, with Mia swimming at the most prestigious location – the Olympic Park.

Her father Steven, who is a scuba diving instructor, says the success of the Twitter campaign was “quite extraordinary”.

“We’re a bit Luddite in our household so we had very little idea what Twitter was when we started,” he said.

“But then before you know it, Mia’s getting donations from these huge global superstars – from across the world.

“Our first donation was from Depeche Mode – as one of the members of the band is a neighbour, but we’ve had so many other big names donate too, it shows how global fundraising can be nowadays.”

The money raised will be spent by Comic Relief on good causes to help vulnerable people in the UK and around the world.

And as London 2012 saw China’s Ye Shiwen break a world record aged just 16, Mia hopes the hard training she has to do will pay off and see her become another young Olympian.

“I think I’m too late for Brazil 2016, but hopefully I’ll be there in 2020,” she said.

* If you would like to sponsor Mia, visit


Latest News Stories

Bridget Cherry pictured at Hornsey Tower

Bridget Cherry's book, Ivy-Mantled Tower A History of the Church and Churchyard of St Mary Hornsey has been published by The Hornsey Historical Soc. Picture: Nigel Sutton

In telling the story of a long-vanished parish church, architectural historian Bridget Cherry has delved into the heart of what was once Hornsey village.

Paul Young, 18, who won the Personal Journey award and was named Inspirational Young Person of the Year at the Camden Youth Awards. Picture: Dieter Perry

Paul Young struggled to cope after suffering mental health problems, being bullied at school, and having to care for his unwell mother.

Yesterday, 17:29
Crouch End Festival Chorus at St John's Smith Square. Photo: Emily Soppet

The Crouch End Festival Chorus is taking a deep breath and running a 12-hour sponsored singing marathon this Saturday to raise funds for a major recording project.

Yesterday, 16:48
Flowers on Parkland Walk

Police are investigating after live ammunition was discovered in Parkland Walk.

Squatters at West End Lane

Squatters are currently believed to have barricaded themselves into a former council building in West Hampstead after an eviction order was served.

Yesterday, 13:00
London Ambulance Service has been recommended for special measures following a CQC report

The London Ambulance Service has been placed into special measures after being slammed by a health watchdog investigation as “inadequate”.

Yesterday, 11:47
Tulip Siddiq challenged the Prime Minister in the House of Commons

Mothers’ maiden names should be listed on marriage certificates alongside fathers’ names, Hampstead and Kilburn’s MP has told Parliament.

Yesterday, 09:25
Piers Corbyn, right, with the squatters in West Hampstead and Cllr Lorna Russell

Squatters who have occupied empty former council offices in West Hampstead will appear in court today.

Most read news

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot


MAC Makeup

MAC are renowned for their flawless, fabulous make up that is used worldwide by the stars. You too can have the chance to have the perfect makeup to suit your needs with £1,000 to spend on all the glam goodies you like!


You are never far from an Argos, wherever in the country you may be. They are like a magical cavern where whatever you need they seem to have it out the back behind the counter. So why not put them to the test with this great MyOffers competition to win £1000 to spend in-store.

Digital Edition

Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder