“It is fantastic to see that the money we raise through our great event goes directly to the ‘Malaria still Sucks’ program,” said Jackson English, the 24-Hour Swim Challenge Coordinator and SurfAid Ambassador. “Mosquito nets are an unfortunate necessity in the Mentawai Islands. UWCSEA believes strongly in the work that SurfAid does and we are more than happy to help contribute to their incredible work.”
On the waveless island of Singapore, United World College of South East Asia (UWCSEA), a K-12 International School of 4500 students, continues to raise funds and awareness for SurfAid.
After a three-year hiatus, the newly opened UWCSEA East Campus hosted the 24-Hour Swim Challenge supported by Quiksilver on Friday 16 and Saturday 17 March. From 2006 to 2009, four 24-Hour Swim Challenges were conducted at the UWCSEA Dover Campus and raised a combined total of more than $200,000 for SurfAid.
The idea for the event is quite simple: open the college swimming pool for 24 hours and invite all members of the college community to swim as many laps as they are physically able to.
During the 24-hour period, more than 650 swimmers jumped in the water and did their bit for SurfAid. Some students swam one lap, others like 13-year-old Liam Coates completed close to 700 laps (35 kilometres). After the event Liam commented: “Swimming so many laps has been one of the hardest things I have ever done. I am exhausted but glad that I am able to do my bit for SurfAid.”
Along with swimmers who were trying their hardest to do as many laps as possible during the 24 hours to win Endurance Cup awards, there were swimmers of various ages and abilities having fun in the pool. The youngest swimmer in the water, wearing floaties and with the help of mum and dad alongside him, was six-month old Austin Wark. The oldest swimmer was Anthony Skillicorn (UWCSEA East Global Concerns and Social Service Co-ordinator) who swam 180 laps (9 kms). Remarkably, there was at least one person in the water swimming during the entire 24 hours.
Funds raised from the 24-Hour Swim Challenge will be donated to the ‘Malaria stills Sucks’ program that purchases and delivers mosquito nets to target villages in the Mentawai Islands.
Continued support from UWCSEA is greatly appreciated by SurfAid. “The UWCSEA 24-Hour Swim has become SurfAid’s most successful long-term grassroots fundraiser,” SurfAid founder and medical director, Dr Dave Jenkins, said. “The money raised has enabled SurfAid to deliver malaria education and long-lasting mosquito nets to some of the world’s most isolated and needy villages in the Mentawai Islands, off Sumatra, Indonesia.”
Congratulations to the winners of the Endurance Cups. The Endurance Cup is awarded to swimmers from various parts of the school who complete the most amount of laps during the 24-hour period.
Primary School: Jeremy Kemp
Middle School: Liam Coates
High School: Alto Ono
Staff Member: Karl Wilcox
Community Member: David Gallagher
Congratulations also to a very excited Dilon Tallentire who at the end of the 24-Hour Swim Challenge was fortunate enough to win the DC Quadangle BMX in a lucky draw. The DC Quadangle BMX was donated by DC Shoes.
UWCSEA would like to thank all swimmers for their time and all the event supporters for making the 24-Hour Swim Challenge such a great event.