Australia's largest ocean swim to fund swimming carnival for children with disability

The original article by mcm northcott is posted (with picture) on StreetCorner since 28/01/2011

Ben Jackson, will take on thousands of swimmers in Australia’s largest ocean swim, The Sydney Morning Herald Cole Classic, to provide children with disability the opportunity to compete in an accessible swimming carnival.

Ben Jackson is currently in training for the 1km swim, starting at Shelley and finishing at Manly Beach, which will take place on Sunday, 6 February.

“Aquabliss Seven Hills has sponsored me by letting me use their pool for free and have given me access to Greg Towle, the Swimming Australia National Open Water Coach,” said Mr. Jackson.

“I am currently training four times a week to prepare for the swim.”

Ben is no stranger to the Cole Classic having competed in the swim in 2008.

“Open water swimming is very different to laps in the pool; the start is a free for all where people swim over the top of you and there are elbows and legs everywhere,” said Mr. Jackson.

“I am putting myself under more pressure this year as I have been less consistent in my preparation, but I am looking forward to the challenge and hoping I can better my time.”

The Cole Classic not only provides an opportunity for the community to get active but also aims to raise funds for more than 500 charities. Ben Jackson has chosen Northcott Disability Services as the charity he will swim for, having learned of the important work they do in the lives of people with disability eight years ago.

“All the money that I raise from this swim will go towards Northcott’s interschool swimming carnivals for children with disability, which are held in March,” Mr. Jackson said.

“The swimming carnivals Northcott runs ensure children with disability are given the opportunity to compete with their peers of similair abilities in an accessible environment. The swimming carnivals receive no government funding and there are no other sports carnivals like this in NSW. There is a strong sporting culture in Australia and I believe everyone, disability or not should be given the opportunity to participate.”

To sponsor Ben Jackson in the Cole Classic and help fund Northcott Disability Services swimming carnivals please visit www.northcott.com.au or call 02 9890 0971.