Dive in at the Swimathon
Saturday, 1st March, 2014
By Darrin Manuel
The YMCA is hoping to make fear of water a thing of the past for kids at the 2014 Swimathon on Sunday.
Now in its third year, the Australia-wide fundraiser attracted 2500 participants last year and raised $210,000.
The money provides vital swimming and water safety training to kids most at risk of drowning including, Aboriginal Australians, new immigrants and people with a disability.
Broken Hill raised around $4000 last year, with funds going towards the centre’s SwimAbility program for children with a disability.
YMCA Regional Manager Shane Simmons said the money was used locally to give one on one tuition to the 12 children taking part in Swim Ability.
One youngster who has benefited from the program is Dylan Evers, who battles with Autism.
His mother Stacey said he had grown in confidence since taking up SwimAbility.
“This is his second year in the program and he’s just come along in leaps and bounds,” said Stacey.
“He’s making slow progress, and the staff are just so wonderful and patient.
“He was anxious and tentative around water before, so he’s some very far since then.”
This year’s Swimathon will feature a huge day of fun activities, and Mr Simmons said he hopes to see plenty of families supporting the city’s children.
“We’re aiming to make it a big family fun day. We want to see as many people down here as we can,” he said.
“Even if they’re not swimming they can come own and support family and friends and maybe make a donation. Every little bit counts.”
The Swimathon will begin at 10am on Sunday and will also feature a sausage sizzle (gold coin donation), inflatable pool equipment, jumping castle and a cake stall.
Participants in the Swimathon receive free pool admission. They can raise funds by asking friends and family to sponsor their swim, or by simply making a donation.
Registration can be completed online at ymcaswimathon.org.au or at the YMCA.