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Speech: SWIM4KIDS launch, March 12, 2016

It was great to support SWIM4KIDS on March 12, 2016 at Prince Alfred Park Pool.

SWIM4KIDS  is a swimathon event held to raise funds for the Niclas Kesler Scholarship. The Inaugural Swim4Kids launched in March 2015, two weeks after LHSA master teacher Peter Dunne’s epic feat in the 2015 Karma Resorts Rottnest Channel Swim. The Scholarship provides part-to-fully subsidised aquatic education lessons to kids with a disability.

FOT1E4ABelow is a speech I gave on the day:

Hello, everyone, and on behalf of the City of Sydney, welcome to Prince Alfred Park.

I’d like firstly to acknowledge the Gadigal people of the Eora nation, the traditional custodians of our land, and to pay my respects to their Elders. I also acknowledge the people of 200 nations who live in our City.

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Thank you all for turning out to support this second Swim4Kids event.  It is the major fund-raiser for the Niclas Kesler Scholarship which – I assume most of you know – provides free swimming lessons for children with a disability.

Sydney is a swimmers’ city: we’ve got the Pacific Ocean at our doorstep, wonderful old harbour and beach pools, and within our own local government boundaries, this pool, the Boy Charlton Pool, the Cook + Phillip Park and Victoria Park pools, and the Ian Thorpe Aquatic Centre.

So the ability to swim and be safe in the water is part of the birthright of all Sydneysiders – including those with physical, intellectual or developmental disabilities.

The Little Heroes swim program looks out for them, teaching them first how to be safe in the water, then how to extend their abilities and to enjoy activities they never thought were possible for them and is possibly the only swim school in Sydney offering free or discounted lessons for children with a disability.

Last year, 100 swimmers taking part in this event raised $10,000 which helped more than 12 children to safely enjoy the water. This year, they hope to double that amount so that even more children will benefit.

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The City is pleased to host this event and I hope you’ll all be generous with your support and get behind this great cause.

You can still donate via this link.

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