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2017 Swimathon kicks off at YMCAs across Australia
Thousands of Australians are preparing to splash out for a great cause as the 2017 YMCA Swimathon officially gets underway in 68 centres around the country today.
The YMCA Swimathon raises money so that Australians with disabilities can have the basic opportunity to enjoy the water safely. The funds cover specialised swimming lessons, the purchase of new equipment and additional resources to directly assist people with disabilities to be able to swim.
Some of the activities happening around the country include an Australian record attempt for the largest indoor aquaerobics class at Ku-ring-gai Fitness and Aquatic Centre, giant pool inflatables challenges, swimming races, BBQs and more.
Paralympian and YMCA Swimathon ambassador Prue Watt commented “I’m so proud to be an ambassador of the YMCA Swimathon, helping to raise funds to teach kids with disabilities the vital, fun and lifelong skill of swimming.
“As a four-time Paralympic swimmer, this is an area very close to my own heart.
“Born with severe vision loss, there’s so much of the visual world that I did not know. Learning to swim gave me confidence and taught me that I wasn’t different and that I can participate just like everyone else.
“Please join us today in raising as much as we can to give kids with disabilities the opportunity to access the specialised teachers and equipment they need to learn the crucially important skill of swimming.”
One in five people in Australia have a disability, with those who have profound disability being nine times less likely to participate in activities outside the home – including sport and recreation activities, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics1.
Sadly, cost is the biggest barrier to people with disability taking part in sport and recreation activities like swimming2.
YMCA NSW Chief Executive Leisa Hart added “swimming and learning to be safe around water is an important life skill, just like reading or writing, but too often people with disabilities miss out on these basic opportunities due to a lack of access to specialist lessons, teachers, equipment and accessible pools. As a result, it places them at an increased risk of drowning.
“This is where the YMCA Swimathon comes in – raising the necessary funds to open up the water to everyone and provides accessibility to all. For example, just $20 pays for one swimming lesson, $60 buys a neck flotation device, $250 pays for specialised resources, $500 buys a float suit and $2,000 buys a water wheelchair. Together, we can improve the lives of people with disabilities in our community.”
For more information go to www.ymcaswimathon.org.au
1 Australian Bureau of Statistics. Disability, Ageing and Carers, Australia: Summary of Findings, 2012 (cat. no. 4430.0)
2 Getting involved in sport: Participation and non-participation of people with disability in sport and active recreation, Australian Sports Commission and University of Technology, Sydney, 2011
Top image: Prue Watt
3rd December 2016 - YMCA’S LEISA HART CALLS FOR NATIONAL WATER SAFETY EDUCATION PROGRAM FOR CHILDREN
16th November 2016 - YMCA NSW WINS CONTRACT EXTENSIONS TO CONTINUE OPERATIONS AT TWO KEY SYDNEY SITES
5th July 2016 - AUSTSWIM AND YMCA NSW JOIN FORCES ON WATER SAFETY
12th May 2016 - YMCA SWIMATHON RAISES OVER $1.1 MILLION IN FIVE YEARS
1st January 2016 - YMCA AQUATICS SPECIALIST HIGHLIGHTS THE NEED TO GUARD AGAINST DROWNINGS
4th December 2015 - YMCA LAUNCHES 2016 NATIONAL SWIMATHON FUNDRAISER
2nd June 2015 - YMCA SWIMATHON WINS SOUTH AUSTRALIAN AWARD
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