Jenna Bell, Anne McDonnell, Kate McDonnell, Tina Bell, Hannah Hanson, Marni Robertson, Fiona King, Casey Manthy and Elizabeth Manthey prepare to start their laps at the Cotton Tree Aquatic Centre.
Jenna Bell, Anne McDonnell, Kate McDonnell, Tina Bell, Hannah Hanson, Marni Robertson, Fiona King, Casey Manthy and Elizabeth Manthey prepare to start their laps at the Cotton Tree Aquatic Centre. Contributed

Swimmers dive in deep for charity

TEN Gympie Deep Blue Aquatics staff have donated $1300 to charity after competing in Sunday's 12-hour Sunshine Coast MS Swimathon and swimming more than 700 laps at Cotton Tree.

Deep Blue Aquatics owner Elizabeth Manthey said the group thought it would be a nice charity to support and approached Gympie businesses for support.

Joining Manthey in the swimathon were Jenna Bell, Anne McDonnell, Kate McDonnell, Tina Bell, Hannah Hanson, Marni Robertson, Fiona King, Casey Manthey and Erin Povachook.

"We set ourselves $1000 as a target and ended up raising $1300," Manthey said.

The Gympie team was the only non-Sunshine Coast entrant and began swimming at 7am, finishing the 36km swim at 7pm.

"There had to be someone swimming at all times," Manthey said.

"We worked out that we could do half-an-hour shifts.

"Nobody was sore the next day - maybe a bit tired but not sore."

The all-female team was the only swimming club to enter as the other 10 teams were comprised of Sunshine Coast businesses and schools.

Manthey's daughter Casey came across the event on Facebook and pitched the idea to her mother and Deep Blue Aquatics staff.

Despite other MS swimathons being held across Queensland in the past, Sunday's Cotton Tree event was the first on the Sunshine Coast.

Manthey said the Sunshine Coast swimathon raised more than $21,000 and MS Queensland hinted it would be eager to hold another.

Queensland MS swimathons have raised $86,155 in the 2015/16 swim season, supporting people living with multiple sclerosis.

"We will probably put our hands up and do it again," Manthey.

Gympie Times


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