Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Barrie in Training for 11th Big Swim

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Barrie in Training for 11th Big Swim

Article excerpt

Byline: Kathy Sundstrom

HE HAS swum through packs of jelly fish, crossed the area some consider "shark alley" and braved the winter weather for the toughest Sunshine Coast ocean challenge 10 times.

And now 76-year-old Barrie Blackwell is preparing to do it all again.

The former teacher will be taking part in the 11km Island Charity Swim for his 11th year in a row, swimming part of the leg around Mudjimba Island back to Mooloolaba Beach.

To date the swim has raised more than $1.2 million in funding for equipment and facilities for children attending the Nambour and Currimundi special schools.

The swim is close to Mr Blackwell's heart because he has seen first hand the benefits.

As a Currimundi Special School teacher, he knows the challenges small schools face in getting fundraising. He also knows the desperate need for improved facilities.

"It's a very good example of a total win-win situation," he said. "The students benefit from the resources bought, the parents benefit as fundraising can be difficult and those involved benefit from having the opportunity to meet the challenges they would likely face. …

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