24-hour Swimathon for mental health returns

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The Head Above Water 24-hour Swimathon is returning to Sydney’s Northern Beaches, after raising more than $80,000 for mental health programmes at the inaugural 2019 event.

Swimming for mental health: Konica Minolta team (l-r) Kyle Young, Peter Stace, Andrew ‘Wardy’ Ward, Ben Jennings and Dean Mico
Swimming for mental health last year: Konica Minolta team (l-r) Kyle Young, Peter Stace, Andrew ‘Wardy’ Ward, Ben Jennings and Dean Mico

This year’s swim is set to being at 8am on Saturday 14 March and will finish 24 hours later, it takes place at Collaroy rockpool.

Founded by Andrew Ward, Konica Minolta sales leader, Head Above Water is an activity-based fundraising group that aims to create mentally fit and healthy communities.

Last year, 525 swimmers participated in the event, swimming 19,026 laps, equivalent 951 kilometres. This year, organisers are expecting a bigger turnout, with even bigger fundraising totals. A number of Konica Minolta staff and local print business people look set to join the swim.

There will be four lanes to cater for all levels of swimming ability, and people can choose to swim as many, or as few laps as they like. Every swimmer can raise money via their own sponsorship page, or they can form a team to raise even more money.

Last year, Head Above Water partnered with Gotcha4Life (founded by TV and Radio personality, Gus Worland), to help support mental health workshops and initiatives across schools, clubs and community groups.

The success of Head Above Water is best summed up by Worland himself, who said, “I remember the swim being one of the best 24 hours this community has ever been associated with. So much money and awareness raised that will help our local community. An amazing day and it’s just the start of a beautiful partnership between Head Above Water and Gotcha4Life.”

Founded in response to the high rate of suicide on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, the organisation believes that harnessing the power of a positive, supportive network is the most effective way to make a difference.

To get involved, contact Andrew Ward at admin@headabovewater.com.au.

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