Topics:  emily seebohm, olympian, olympic, swimming

Olympian spends 33 hours in the pool to promote safety

Emily Seebohm has come within a whisker of a world record in the heats of the 100m backstroke.
Emily Seebohm has come within a whisker of a world record in the heats of the 100m backstroke. Getty Images Sport - Adam Pretty

AN AUSTRALIAN Olympic swimmer has caused quite a splash in the pool but this time it wasn't from a winning stroke.

This week Emily Seebohm hung up her racing cap and goggles and made herself at home in a large red, floating jumping castle all in the name of charity.

The gold medallist spent 33 hours living at the Palm Beach Currumbin aquatic centre for her leg of the 'swim kids operation 10, 000', a campaign to to highlight and prevent child drowning.

It was part of a weeklong initiative involving five Olympians consecutively hitting the pool for 2000 minutes (33hours) to help fund 10,000 swimming and water safety lessons for kids.

"It was fun and I'm just proud I was able to raise awareness for such a great cause," Ms Seebohm said.

"I believe all children deserve the opportunity to learn to swim, regardless of their circumstance or background.

"Some children live miles from a swimming pool or don't have the money to pay for lessons and that's just not fair.

"I'm raising money because I want equal swimming education opportunities for all kids."

Ms Seebohm said although the elements were not in her favour she still made the most of her spare time in the pool.

"It was a bit chilly so I did some laps to keep me warm and got involved with some fun swimming lessons with local school kids who dropped by," she said.

The campaign kicked off with fellow Olympian Eamon Sullivan on Sunday February 17 and will continue across the country until Sunday February 24 with swimmers Cate and Bronte Campbell and Paralympian Matt Cowdrey .

According to the royal life saving association Australia drowning remains one of the leading causes of preventable deaths in children.

The association's statistics showed that 31 people drowned in December last year across the nation and of these, 20 percent were children between 0-14 years old.

If you would like to donate or find out more information visit www.swimkids.com.au



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