17 March 2023
Whyalla Recreation Centre laps for mental health
A Whyalla Recreation Centre (WRC) staff team, supported by Whyalla Swim Club members, undertook a lap-swimming challenge at the centre on Saturday 11 March, to raise funds for mental health support.
The event, Laps For Life, was undertaken as part of a push to raise $10,000 to assist the Black Dog Institute, a not-for-profit facility founded in 2002 for diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mood disorders such as depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder.
The ‘WRC Dream Team’ of Bec Gumm, Kristen Beaty, Drake Beaty and Sean Spillane were supported by the WRC Swim Club and each completed the 10-kilometre (400 lap) swim, raising $2,431 - $450 on the day and $1981 through online donations. Fundraising towards their target will continue until the end of March.
Ms Gumm, WRC Aquatics Coordinator and event organiser, said her personal experience with the loss of a loved one was a key driver to help raise both awareness and funds for mental health support.
“I’ve used swimming as an outlet to help deal with the ongoing grieving process, and the fundraiser is an avenue to help prevent others experiencing this. It was great to have people swim with me this year after I decided to step things up a notch by doubling my pledge and tackling 10 kilometres in one go for the first time,” she said.
“We began at 6am and Swim Club members, family, friends and the public watched and supported our swim from 8am onwards. We all successfully completed the 400 laps and Sean and I are already talking about doing it again in October,” Ms Gumm said with a laugh.
Ms Gumm added that suicide is the leading cause of death for young people in Australia meaning that each year, more young people die by suicide than in car accidents or from cancer. Every dollar donated to the event fundraising page will help provide young people in Australia with the support they need to be happy and well.
To donate to the cause please visit https://www.lapsforlife.com.au/fundraisers/wrcdreamteam