Members of the Australian Dolphins Swim Team training in Cairns will soon swap the pool for the Coral Sea as they explore the outer Reef on a Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef expedition on Tuesday July 2.
Led by Commonwealth Games gold-medalist, world record holder and Citizens Ambassador Shayna Jack, the group will include members of the 27-strong squad selected for the upcoming World Swimming Championships in South Korea; including Commonwealth Games gold-medalists like Alex Graham, Clyde Lewis and Leah Neale; who have arrived in Cairns for a pre-event staging camp.
The expedition is part of a reef-wide effort to showcase the beauty of the Great Barrier Reef, as well as raise awareness of the ways it is being impacted by issues like climate change and plastic pollution.
Joining the team on board will be four lucky students and two teachers from Cairns State High School and Trinity Bay State High School. The students, passionate about swimming and marine conservation, will have the opportunity to get in the water with the Dolphins and learn more about how they can help support a healthy reef.
Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef is a network of individuals, organisations and businesses working to conserve the Great Barrier Reef and inspire people around the world to protect it.
“We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to show the Dolphins another part of our beautiful Reef this year,” Andy Ridley, CEO Citizens said. “We hope they will be inspired by what they see on the reef and encourage their supporters across Australia to become involved in its protection.”
As the National Swim Team, the Dolphins are in a unique position to inspire Australians, demonstrate leadership on ocean conservation, and become part of the larger global effort to protect our reef ecosystems.
Members of the team will also take part in a pilot survey for the Great Reef Census, a collaborative citizen science project which aims to establish a broad snapshot of the Reef’s health.
Swimming Australia CEO Leigh Russell welcomed the opportunity for the Australian Dolphins Swim Team to be involved again this year.
“As a sport that revolves around water, the conservation and protection of our oceans and waterways is a cause close to our hearts,” Leigh Russell said.
“I know our Dolphins are excited to once again be part of this Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef expedition. Having been on the trip last year, I can say it is a truly amazing experience to see the reef in all its beauty and we are privileged to get the opportunity.
“We look forward to the team being able to play its part in increasing awareness all over the world of our beautiful reef and encouraging people to be active in its protection.”
“The Great Barrier Reef has become a poster child for climate change, but we want it to become a point of inspiration for change,” Andy Ridley said.
“The Reef is still an incredible and vibrant ecosystem, but to keep it that way it can’t be business as usual - everyone has a part to play.”
With thanks to Swimming Australia, Dreamtime Dive & Snorkel and Biopixel who are supporting this event.