Swimming Australia has launched its 2020 Australia Swims campaign, aimed at encouraging Australians to commit the distance they plan to swim in January, to a nation-wide challenge.
The challenge includes traditional state rivalries, with states and territories competing in a virtual race to Tokyo, the host of the 2020 Olympic Games.
The state who completes the 7,154km journey (off the coast of Brisbane to Tokyo) first, and the state that swims the furthest will see two participants, one from each victorious region, win an exclusive travel package to the Olympic selection event in Adelaide.
Swimming Australia CEO, Leigh Russell, said all Australians should get behind the campaign this summer to make it the most inclusive and expansive Australia Swims initiative to date.
“I’m really excited to launch this year’s Australia Swims campaign which takes on an Olympic and Paralympic element in 2020 as states and territories race to Tokyo,” Russell said.
“This initiative is all about inspiring people of all ages and abilities to get in the water, so it doesn’t matter if you pledge 50 metres or 25 kilometres, every distance adds to your state’s grand total and edges your region closer to the goal of 7,154km.
“Swimming is such a unique sport and recreational activity.
“Whether you’re four years old and learning to swim, or 65 and swim each morning, there’s no boundaries to who can hop in the water, and the positive impact it has on your physical and mental health is well documented.
“I’d also encourage everyone who participates in the challenge to download Swimming Australia’s free iSwim app, so they track the distance they swim, commit their metres and keep up to date with open water events happening near them.
“May the best, and most competitive, state win,” Russell said.
Last year’s Australia Swims campaign saw thousands of Australians commit their distance, accumulating a total of 40,358.43kms to achieve the challenge set of lapping Australia, also beating 2018’s total of 39,113kms.
A live map and leader board will be up on the Australia Swims website during the campaign showing individual and state results to further push the campaign.