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Swimming Stars Make a Splash

Summer is here and to celebrate Swimming Australia is encouraging all Australians to revel in their love of the water and through the Australia Swims campaign pledge their swimming distances to swim a virtual lap around Australia from 19-28 January.

Following the success of the inaugural event last year where swimmers clocked up 39,113kms, exceeding the goal by over 4,000kms, the Australia Swims challenge takes on a new component this year. The competitive nature of the nation will be on show pitting team against team to see which swim tribes can top the nation’s leader board for the most kilometres swam during the campaign.

Last year’s event saw nearly 700 registered swim experiences take place around Australia, and a campaign that reached over three million Australians.

Each team will have a captain and a charity cause connected to it, allowing Australians to make a choice on which team to pledge their swims to.

Swimming Australia Chief Executive Officer Leigh Russell said she expected this year’s campaign, which is presented by Optus, to take on a whole new feel.

“Appealing to the competitive edge of Australians and have teams go head-to-head brings a whole new level of excitement to the Australia Swims campaign.

“Swimming is really unique as it is a life-skill, a sport and a recreational pastime. It knows no barriers and anyone can give it a go.

“Swimming is also a great way to get active and we want to support the Sport Australia Move It AUS campaign and encourage Australians, of all backgrounds and abilities to find 30 minutes a day to be physically active.

“Whether you are going to swim 100 metres or 5 kilometres, we want to encourage everyone to pledge their swims and celebrate their love of the water during this period.

“Our goal is for Australians to reconnect to their love for swimming and inspire people to participate and share their experiences, whether that be through social media or just by having fun with friends and family,” concluded Ms Russell.

Teams taking part in this year’s event include; Citizens of the Reef, led by  Australian Dolphins Shayna Jack, Jake Packard and Mack Horton; Soldier On, led by Paralympic Champions Ellie Cole OAM and Brendan Hall OAM; Team Belgravia Leisure led by Olympic gold medalist Brooke Hanson OAM; Team Reidy, led by Bondi lifeguard Andrew Reid, supporting OneWave; Masters Swimming led by Swimming legend Dawn Fraser AC, MBE and World Record holder 100 year-old George Corones, supporting Beyond Blue; Surf Life Saving Australia, led by Ali Day and Georgia Miller; Beyond the Black Line led by Olympians Linley Frame and Josh Beaver and MS Mega Swim led by Paralympian Carol Cooke, AM.

During the event period there will be several marquee events happening around the country, including many activities on Australia Day with the Sydney Harbour Splash, Australian Open Water Championships (Adelaide), Great Australia Day Swim (Melbourne), the Burleigh Swim Run (Gold Coast), the Sorrento Australia Day Swim (Perth) and the Kingston Beach Open Swim (Tasmania) all taking place.

For more information head to pick a team and pledge your distances.

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