NAROOMA Swimming Club held a swimathon at the Narooma Swimming Pool on Friday night to raise funds for an electronic timing system.
At 7pm swimmers took to six lanes in the water with a goal of reaching 67km, the distance between Narooma and Batemans Bay.
With the support from a cheering crowd the youngest members made the first splash in the pool with Fiona and Ivy O'Meara setting a fast pace.
“Some of the littlies were like a bull at a gate and I was worried they weren’t going to make the distance,” club president Chris Brown said.
The youngest participant was five-year-old Fiona O’Meara who put in an absolutely amazing effort swimming an incredible 600 metres.
Wobbling on jelly legs Fiona was asked how many laps she thought she had completed. “I swam one more than 11.”
Many of the eight to ten-year-old boys managed around 90 laps.
The club’s vice-president Tracy King also put in a sterling effort clocking up a massive 150 laps.
“Tracy couldn’t stop,” Chris said. “She was like a mechanical toy.”
The club had estimated it would take about four hours to clock up the 67km but by just 10pm 26 swimmers had already covered 72km.
Even though swimmers were still giving it their best shot, it was decided to call a halt to proceedings.
It took a great effort to stop Tracy and she collapsed on the side of the pool.
It was way past bedtime for many of the youngsters and they were struggling to keep their eyes open.
Club president Chris Brown was thrilled with the night’s success and estimates they raised about 30 per cent of the $9000 needed for the new equipment.
The club has high hopes for the outcome of a recent application for a sport and recreation grant to help with the remaining funds.
The club is extremely grateful the help from Neil Hummerston on the night and for the support the club has received from an incredible amount of local businesses.
“A huge thank you to all the parents who helped out with organising the event, lap counting, cooking, food preparation,” Chris said.
“And the swimmers who helped reach the distance. Well done to you all.”
The swimathon was the brainchild of Tracy King and Quentin Pendergast and after the night’s success there is plenty of talk about running a swimathon annually.
The evening had kicked off with the award presentation for the just-completed Winter season.
Major sponsor of the swim club Paul O'Brien from O'Briens Hotel presented the children with their awards.
Overall point score champion for girls was Sophie Brown and runner up was Sophie O'Meara. Overall Point Score champion for boys was Banjo King and runner up was Tom Brown.
Two special awards for the most improved swimmer throughout the winter season went to Oscar Defrenza and Rohan Hodge.