Entertainment

Shepparton MS 24 Hour Mega Swim

By Madeleine Caccianiga

Swimmers braved the chilly night and toughed out the arduous relay for the 10th year in a row for the Shepparton MS 24 Hour Mega Swim at the weekend.

Starting the event with $10000 already raised for the cause, event spokesman Damien Stevens-Todd said he was thrilled with this year’s participant numbers.

‘‘This year we had five teams participate and more than 60 people register,’’ Mr Stevens-Todd said.

He said there was a reason for every one to participate in this year’s swim.

‘‘Some people just come to dress up and have fun, some people like to be a bit competitive, but most people sign up because they have had a personal experience with multiple sclerosis,’’ Mr Stevens-Todd said.

Kiwanis Club of Shepparton Sunrisers and Lions Club of Shepparton were on board to help the participants through the night and provide a hearty breakfast for those who continued on into the 20th hour.

‘‘The event is successful, it is consistent year after year, but we’re still keen to grow — in the past we have had other teams get involved for social reasons and we’d love to see more of that happening,’’ Mr Stevens-Todd said.

He said the event symbolised the effects of someone living with MS.

‘‘Living with MS is really difficult and the pain and the pressure that you can experience from having to swim at 3am — your body is tired, you’re fatigued, it’s cold — you really are experiencing something close to the symptoms of what people who are living with MS go through and that’s the reason for doing this swim,’’ Mr Stevens-Todd said.

All funds raised from the MS 24 Hour Mega Swim go to MS victims by funding the Go for Gold Scholarship Program and financial assistance programs.

‘‘They can apply for scholarships for education, for travel, business anything that they need to do to improve their lives so it’s a really valuable way to contribute to our local community with a local event,’’ Mr Stevens-Todd said.

Donations for the event will be accepted until the end of the week at msmegaswim.org.au