2016 Townsville MS Swimathon
The 2016 Townsville MS Swimathon is happening on Sunday May 1st from 6am to 6pm with participants swimming in teams for 12 hours to raise funds for Multiple Sclerosis Queensland.
JCU staffer Kate Casey says:
I’m participating and fundraising on the day, and also helping out with bits and pieces of the organisation. We’re always looking for new people to participate in the swim and to donate to the teams.
Date: Sunday 1st May 2016
Time: 6am – 6pm
Location: Kokoda Memorial Pool, 41 Wellington Street, Mundingburra QLD 4812
Official MSQ press release:
MS Swimathon set to make a splash in Townsville
Now entering its 5th year of running the 12 hour MS Swimathons across the state, MS Queensland is excited to announce that they will be back, greeted by the friendly faces of Townsville on Sunday May 1 at the Kokoda Memorial Pool, in support of the local community living with multiple sclerosis (MS).
The MS Swimathon season holds nine events across the state combining two great loves of Queenslanders, swimming and supporting a worthwhile cause!
Teams swim together (relay style) for 12 hours, raising funds for those living with MS in their local community and racking up the kilometres with a lot of fun and friendly competition along the way.
MS is the most common chronic neurological condition affecting young adults in Australia.
The average age of diagnosis is just 30 years of age and affects almost three times more women than men.
There is approximately one in every 1,000 people living with MS in Australia, equating to more than 23,000 Australians and over 3,700 residing in Queensland.
With no known cause or cure and symptoms varying significantly between those diagnosed, the total cost of MS to individuals and the community is more than $1 billion annually.
With limited government funding for the extensive support services provided by MS Queensland to those living with MS, fundraising activities such as the MS Swimathons are vitally important.
Amongst those participating in the annual event is Townsville local Kate, who has been living with MS for 14 years. At just 18 years of age, vision problems, numbness and constant dizziness resulted in a diagnosis of MS.
“When I was diagnosed, I felt a combination of fear and relief. Fear because I didn’t know what would lie ahead of me, and relief to finally have answers that made sense.”
This will be Kate’s fourth time swimming in the Townsville MS Swimathon and she happily admits to not taking her stroke too seriously.
“For me it’s about getting the community together to assist in raising funds for the work that MS Queensland does for so many people, including myself. It’s a very social experience!”
Kate is passionate about inspiring others who are living with MS, especially those who, like her, receive the diagnosis at a young age.
“I firmly believe that representing MS in a realistic and relatable way takes away the power that the condition can hold over a person’s hope, aspirations and future.”
Joining Kate and many other locals is 10 year old Aimee who loves the feeling she gets from helping people.
“I was eight years old when I did my first Swimathon, and it makes me feel happy that I am helping people when I swim.”
Aimee is quite the little mermaid and regularly trains with the Garden Swimming Club, where her coaches encourage her to do her best.
“I love swimming! It makes me feel happy and relaxed.”
This little pocket rocket has had the support of her family, school and swimming friends in helping her claim the title of top fundraiser for the Townsville MS Swimathon.
“This year I hope to raise $2000! I feel good when I imagine all the people that my fundraising will help.”
The MS Swimathons are a significant fundraising season as part of the MS Queensland events portfolio, connecting those living with MS to those in their local areas who are fundraising, as swimming is a popular low-impact mobility therapy option for those with MS.
Teams participating in the Townsville MS Swimathon event will strive to raise $35,000, of the overall state goal of $260,000 to continue delivering vital support services provided by MS Queensland in local areas.
There is still plenty of time to support the event, by donating to an individual or team, or diving in with a team of your own and fundraising in support of people living with MS - it’s not too late to make your ripple within the local MS community!