Fittingly launching on the first day of summer, Swimming Australia is proud to unveil its 2020 Australia Swims campaign.
Now in its third year, the initiative encourages all Australians to celebrate their love of the water and commit the distance they plan to swim in January – whether it’s 50 metres or 50 kilometres – to a nation-wide challenge.
As the excitement builds towards the Olympics and Paralympics, this year’s challenge has a touch of Tokyo and will ignite traditional state rivalries, with states and territories competing in a virtual race to Japan’s capital – the destination of the 2020 Games.
Starting off the coast of Brisbane, there’ll be more than just bragging rights on the line for the state who completes the 7,154km journey first – and the state that swims the furthest – with two lucky participants, one from each victorious region, winning an exclusive travel package to the selection event in Adelaide.
Last year saw thousands of people commit their distance, accumulating a grand total of 40,358.43kms to successfully achieve the challenge of lapping Australia and surpassing 2018’s total of 39,113kms.
Noosa’s open water champion Kareena Lee, who was the first swimmer selected on the Australian 2020 Olympic team, is a big advocate of the campaign, as is retired Dolphin and seven-time Pier to Pub winner, Sam Sheppard.
Swimming Australia CEO Leigh Russell encouraged all Australians to get behind the campaign this summer to make it the most inclusive and expansive Australia Swims initiative to date.
“I’m really excited to launch this year’s Australia Swims campaign which takes on an Olympic and Paralympic element in 2020 as states and territories race to Tokyo,” Russell said.
“This initiative is all about inspiring people of all ages and abilities to get in the water, so it doesn’t matter if you pledge 50 metres or 25 kilometres, every distance adds to your state’s grand total and edges your region closer to the goal of 7,154km.
“Swimming is such a unique sport and recreational activity. Whether you’re four years old and learning to swim, or 65 and swim each morning, there’s no boundaries to who can hop in the water – and the positive impact it has on your physical and mental health is well documented.
“I’d also encourage everyone who participates in the challenge to download Swimming Australia’s free iSwim app, so they track the distance they swim, commit their metres and keep up to date with open water events happening near them.
“May the best – and most competitive – state win!”
A live map and leader board on the Australia Swims website enables visibility over who is clocking up the most kilometres and which state you need to catch, while everyone can share their swim experience on social media using the hashtag #AustraliaSwimsToTokyo.
Swimming Australia has also teamed up with a number of marquee open water events around the country during the Australia Swims campaign, including the Pier to Pub in Lorne, the Portsea Swim Classic, the Great Australia Day Swim, the Great Victorian Swim Series, the World Swim Series and the Australian Open Water Championships in Adelaide to name a few.
Visit the Australia Swims website or download Swimming Australia’s free iSwim app to officially commit your distance under the challenge tab – it doesn’t matter how big or small – make the Kms count for your state!