Australia rises to swim challenge

17 February 2019
2019 Australia Swims

We did it!

Clocking up a total of 40,358.43km, Australia Swims swimming challenge has wrapped for Summer 2019.

Following a massive 10-day celebration of swimming, including the launch of the new iSwim app and 2019 Australian Open Water Swimming Championships in Adelaide, the nation successfully swam 40,358.43kms, virtually lapping Australia and surpassing last year’s total of 39,113kms.

The inaugural introduction of teams for this year’s challenge saw the good-spirited, competitive nature of Australians shine. It was team against team, swim tribe v swim tribe, to see who could record the most kms and land on top of the leader board.

Eight teams, all raising awareness for a good cause via 14 inspiring captains, went head-to-head to secure the coveted top spot. At the conclusion of the campaign, Coolangatta Gold Champions, professional Ironman and Ironwoman Ali Day and Georgia Miller emerged victorious for Team Surf Life Saving, clocking up a total of 12,633.01kms in the effort to lap Australia.

Team Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef, captained by Australian Dolphins Shayna Jack, Jake Packard and Mack Horton, slid into second with a total of 10,008.16km. Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef is the world’s first collaborative and independent movement for the Reef powered by Earth Hour Founder Andy Ridley with the soul cause to save one of Australia’s most iconic coastlines.

After taking an early lead and punching well above their weight, Team Masters Swimming Australia with a membership just shy of 6,000 recreational swimmers finished in third place, contributing 8,019.38kms to the lap. Led by MBE and four-time World Record Holder, Dawn Fraser AC, and 100-year old George Corones, Team Masters demonstrated their passion and love for the water throughout Australia Swims.

Acting as an AusSport ‘Find Your 30’ ambassador Fraser provided early motivation for her team, stating: “We want to show that Masters Swimming around Australia can get out there and do the laps”, at the Australia Swims launch in early December. “Enjoy it, because that’s the most beautiful part about it, you’ve got to swim for Aus’’.

2019 Australian Swims Leaderboard

In fourth position was Team Beyond the Black Line, captained by Olympians Linley Frame and Josh Beaver, the team pledged 2,646.03 kms towards the lap around Australia. True to her word Frame could be found throughout the campaign in the community, continually motivating swimming clubs and recreational swimmers to join in on the cause and pledge their laps. Beyond the Black focuses on sharing life experiences with young swimmers, facing the physical and emotional highs and lows of growing up, talking openly about the hard topics.   

Co-captain Beaver was enthralled to see so many Australians rallying around the team and the organisation: “The feedback we’ve received from the community has been amazing, it’s great to see people starting the conversation around these difficult topics and working to create a safe environment for all involved in the sport.”

Team Soldier On, led by Paralympic Champions Ellie Cole OAM and Brenden Hall OAM, finished off with a collaborative 1,346.80kms pledged. Soldier On’s mission is to work side by side with those who serve and protect Australia, and their families, helping them to secure their futures. Captain Brenden Hall embodied the spirit of his team and his own personal mantra “The only disability in life is a bad attitude” as he cheered on Queensland swimmers in the Burleigh Swim Run after completing his own pledge of 60kms.   

Bondi Lifeguard Andrew ‘Reidy’ Reid, captain of Team Reidy supporting OneWave was a strong advocate for water safety throughout the campaign, sharing his tips and best water safety practices with all involved to ensure that everyone had a safe Australia Swims finished off in sixth place with 1,036.20 kms.

Rounding out the leader board, Team Belgravia Leisure led by Olympic gold medallist Brooke Hanson OAM pledged a 962.50km and MS Mega Swim, captained by Paralympian Carol Cooke AM, pledged 877.90km.

To check out all the action from the 2019 Australia Swims campaign head to our official Instagram account @swimmingaustralia and our Twitter feed @swimmingAUS.

Many of our team captains will also feature in the new iSwim series being released via the app in February, where users will be able to learn from the best as they share their personal workouts, tips and tricks for health and wellness.

Australia wide the waves made from Australia Swims will be felt throughout the year as new swimmers join the cause. iSwim will prove a massive motivator to keep the passion felt alive until the next Australia Swims kicks off with exclusive content being released directly from the top. Make sure to download the iSwim app so when 2020 rolls around, you can push yourself and pledge even more next year!

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