201401.09

Bloody Big Swim bragging rights up for grabs

Local Federal Member for Dunkley, Bruce Billson today encouraged the community to show their support for local lifesaving clubs in the electorate and get involved in the Bloody Big Swim on 18 January.

The bloody big swim has been running for almost 10 years and this year more than 500 participants have registered to take part in Australia’s second largest open water swim.

The 11.2 kilometre swim starts at the Frankston Life Saving Club and finishes at Mornington’s Mills Beach with solo swimmers and teams expected to raise tens of thousands of dollars for valuable local lifesaving clubs.

The 1.2 kilometre Grand Challenge Swim and the 300metre Nippers Challenge will also be run on the same day.

Mr Billson confessed that he will not be attempting the marathon swim ‘because it might bring on a by-election’ but emphasised the importance of raising funds to support the nippers and youth programs and lifesaving training and equipment used by the club.

Australian’s make around 100 million trips to the beach each year and are under the careful watch of more than 45,000 volunteer surf lifesavers from 311 surf lifesaving clubs.

Last year these volunteers performed almost 12,000 rescues and provided first-aid to 64,000 members of the public.

With bragging rights up for grabs and cash and prizes to be won there is no better time to put on your speedos, slap on some sunscreen, gather up some loose change and show your support for local lifesaving clubs.

News of the Mornington Life Saving Club’s annual fundraising open water marathon swim caused quite a stir in the Australian parliament recently.

Mr Billson was promoting the January 18 event encouraging the community to be a part of the Bloody Big Swim when he was forced to explain to the Deputy Speaker that the ‘colloquial term’ he mentioned in his “Bloody Big Swim” speech was not testing the boundaries of acceptable parliamentary language but the actual name of the event.

In recognition of the magnificent work and volunteer commitment of the lifesaving community to support Australians enjoying our coast and beaches, the Abbott Commonwealth Government is to provide another $10 million to Surf Life Saving over the next five years to help with this important work on our beaches.

To register or obtain further information, go to www.bloodybigswim.com