Swimmers are putting their caps on next week to raise money for the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Western Australia (MSWA) in an eight-hour relay challenge.
Ten teams of up to ten swimmers will meet at the Albany Leisure and Aquatic Centre at 9am on Saturday, May 15 to participate in the MSWA Albany Swim.
MSWA’s Community Events and Fundraising Coordinator Trish Watson said they have nine teams registered so far and encourage everyone to get involved.
“The event has been going since 2010 and it has grown over the years,” she said.
“There’s always a lot of fun on the day, it gets everyone involved and there is always a lot of cheering and screaming.
“It has a real community feel to it…people really look forward to it.”
Swims for his mother
15-year-old MSWA Albany swim ambassador Santino Pietropaolo said he swims on behalf of his mother who was diagnosed with Relaxing Remitting MS in 2001.
“I’ve taken part in the MSWA Albany Swim for six years now,” he said.
“I want to help people like my mum who have a neurological condition and raise money to provide the services they need.
“My mum is so positive and lives life to the fullest.”
In its ninth year, the Albany Swim has raised an incredible $200,000 for MSWA.
“It’s quite an astonishing amount over the years,” Ms Watson said.
“At the moment our  event is sitting on just over $12,000 in fundraising and we’re hoping to get closer to the $20,000 mark by event day, if not more.
“All of the money that is raised from the Albany swim stays in the Great Southern region.
“The majority of that has gone towards purchasing things for members to be able to use and we’ve also got our new purpose-built facility that is underway at the moment at Spencer Park.”
Albany Surf Life Saving Club President Sarah Bowles said the day is open to everyone and is a really worthwhile event.
“We encourage our members to participate in such a good cause,” she said.
Ms Watson said those who “don’t want to get their feet wet” can still get involved.
“We have a few teams that always need a few extra swimmers so they can always get in touch with us at the office and we can definitely direct them to a team captain who may be looking for some swimmers,” she said.
“Or they can just come down on the day and cheer the swimmers on or they can make a donation.”
To get involved in the event, visit www.MSWASwim.org.au.