International marathon swimming superstars will make their way to Victoria next month, as Melbourne hosts the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame.
Taking place at Brighton Yacht Club on Saturday 9 March, it’s the first time this prestigious event will been held in the Asia Pacific region, which will see around 100 guests from across the world attend marathon swimming’s night of nights.
Dolphin Melissa Cunningham, who represented Australia in marathon swimming between 1993-1998 and is a member of the Hall of Fame, is part of the Executive Committee which oversees the nomination and voting process
“Every year we induct a class of swimmers and administrators into the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame,” Cunningham said.
Eleven people will be inducted on the night, including two Australians – husband and wife super team, Chris and Sue Guesdon. Set to take home the two highest honours for their major contribution and service to marathon swimming as administrators, Chris will receive the Dale Petranech Award and Sue will be recognised with the Irving Davids/Captain Roger W. Wheeler Memorial Award.
“Sue and Chris have been a staple of Australian swimming since the ‘60s,” Cunningham said.
“Chris was the team manager when I was swimming and he was also part of getting the 10km event into the Olympics. For years Sue didn’t want to be nominated because she never wants to make a fuss, but she finally accepted this year when I said I’m putting you up – so they are both very deserving recipients.
“This is a family who has given up multiple family trips and family time to really make sure people like myself and thousands and thousands of others have had these amazing opportunities.”
A number of famous faces and past inductees will be in attendance on 9 March, including Sally Minty-Gravett, who holds the record for the oldest swimmer to swim the English Channel, Aussie Dolphin Trent Grimsey who has the fastest English Channel crossing, as well as Tamara Bruce, David O’Brien and Chloe McCardel.
Creating a very welcoming event was a high priority for Cunningham, who has planned a full weekend of activities for the high-profile guests.
“We really wanted to make it a very inclusive event, so we have a BBQ on Friday night and a swim on Saturday morning. We’ll then all hang out at the dinner on Saturday night, followed by a breakfast and another swim on Sunday morning.
“So, there’s lots of places where local swimmers can meet these marathon swimming superstars and really have that interaction and ask questions and just get to know them.”
Anyone is welcome to attend the event, and there’s still time to book your tickets, so make sure you click here to secure your seats before Monday 25 February.