Saturday, April 20, 2024

Lifeguards in the swim for charity

A team of Christchurch City Council lifeguards is planning to raise funds for Hato Hone St John by swimming 500 kilometres – around the distance between Christchurch and Queenstown – in just 24 hours.

The 24-Hour Swim Challenge is the initiative of Council lifeguard supervisor, Martin Martinez D’Orso, who has organised similar events in Queenstown.

Council lifeguards will spearhead the challenge, which will take place from midday Saturday 3 September until midday Sunday 4 September at the Graham Condon Recreation and Sport Centre.

“Anyone can participate in the challenge and there’s no minimum amount of laps that you need to complete. Every lap that is swam will get us a step closer to our goal of swimming at least 20,000 laps of the pool – or about 500 kilometres – in 24 hours,’’ says Mr Martinez D’Orso.

Overnight, it will be up to Mr Martinez D’Orso and the other lifeguards to keep the challenge on track by taking turns swimming laps of the pool.

People can support the 24-Hour Swim Challenge by donating money through the Givealittle page that has been set up or by coming along on the day and making a cash donation.

“Our goal is to raise $5000 to support Hato Hone St John South Island because as lifeguards we really value the life-saving work they do. They are always there to help,’’ Mr Martinez D’Orso says.

Council Head of Recreation, Sports and Events, Nigel Cox said he was proud of the effort the team is making  to show their support for St John.

“The 24-Hour Swim Challenge is a great way for our team to give back to St John – an organisation that is always there when we need them. It is a small way that we can say thank you for all they do for our communities,’’ Mr Cox says.

“Hopefully Christchurch residents will get behind the challenge so we can smash the fundraising target.’’

Any groups wanting to help with the 24-Hour Swim Challenge should email

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