Olympic icon to attend Swimathon event in Stradbroke
Duncan Goodhew will be among the attendees at a charity event at Stradbroke Leisure Centre this weekend.
A record number of 216 Stradbroke swimmers will be taking part in Swimathon 2018 from today to Sunday.
The event will raise money for charities Cancer Research UK and Marie Curie.
Swimmers will complete distances from 400m to 5km to raise money for the causes.
Olympic swimmer Duncan Goodhew, the current president of Swimathon, will a special guest at the event, which is now in its 31st year.
Veteran Swimathon participant Len Phoenix, who is a swimming instructor at Stradbroke Leisure Centre, said: “We are a big group here at Stradbroke and we are buzzing for this weekend’s event.
We normally come in the top five in the country for the number of people taking part – we’re currently on target for third position this year
“We normally come in the top five in the country for the number of people taking part – we’re currently on target for third position this year.”
Last year, Stradbroke was ranked as the third most successful pool in the country for Swimathon.
Nationally, 612 pools took part in event in 2017.
“This year, we have the Swimathon crew coming to our leisure centre to film a video on how to set up and run an event,” said Mr Phoenix.
“Duncan will be here on Saturday to hand out awards, help run the swimming events throughout the day, and many other roles.
“He is an amazing guy and we are really excited to have such a national icon here at Stradbroke.”
Mr Phoenix, along with fellow swimming instructor Maria Smith, organise the event at Stradbroke.
“Maria is the real source behind Swimathon,” said Mr Phoenix.
“She brings real energy to the event and helps to bring everything together. She has taken part for about 20 years.
“This will be my 30th Swimathon – I missed out on the very first year.”
Mr Phoenix added that the event draws a lot of attention from Stradbroke residents.
“We have lots of enthusiastic swimmers right on our doorstep, but we also get swimmers from further afield,” he added.
For more information, go to swimathon.org.