The Winter Swim Challenge began in early June and I (Nic, Kenzie’s Gift CEO and founder) and a bunch of brilliant Kiwis have been busy swimming and raising vital funds for Kenzie’s Gift. Read on to find out more about the Winter Swim Challenge and why it’s so important.
You probably know me by now. I’m a cancer survivor and bereaved māmā and I also live with Parkinson's and a degenerative heart condition, cardiomyopathy.
You might not know that before my heart started to fail and my diagnosis of Parkinson's, I embarked on many sporting challenges to fundraise; marathons, ocean swims, adventure races ... I enjoyed supporting others while challenging myself... it was good to feel alive.
Cardiomyopathy and Parkinson's changed that, and I thought, what can I do now? Then I had a light-bulb moment. While I can't swim the way I used to, I can challenge myself in a new way, embrace physical challenges and push my capabilities.
That’s why last winter I set myself a challenge. For 30 days straight, I would go for a bracing winter swim with the aim of raising funds for Kenzie’s Gift. I managed to raise a huge $16,000. Now this year, our goal is to double it and we’re asking all New Zealanders to join in.
This year, I'm swimming every day of winter, swimming a total of 90 swims. I’m finishing with two weeks of swimming around the seas and lakes of the South Island – brr!
So far I’ve managed to swim every day, come rain, wind or shine, at my local Auckland beach, Cheltenham Beach, or Torpedo Bay (depending on where the wind is blowing from). On launch day, I donned a superhero cape for my swim and on Queen's Birthday, it was time for the tutu and tiara.
Even when I’ve been away from home with work I’ve managed to find local swimming spots.
Here are 3 reasons you should take on the Winter Swim Challenge:
Cold water swimming is amazing for you, your body and your mental health – honestly, it’s addictive! It’s also really good fun. I encourage you to grab your crew, go swimming together and enjoy some well-deserved post-swim coffees.
Every dollar raised through the Winter Swim Challenge goes to helping us create a brighter future for Kiwi kids facing serious illness or grief.
Serious illness and grief can feel overwhelming and isolating. That’s why our vision is to ensure no young Kiwi faces serious illness or grief alone. Your fundraising goes towards providing wrap-around support, including 1-on-1 therapy and expert resources.
Everyone who takes on the Winter Swim Challenge gets the opportunity to win some amazing prizes, including an ORCA S7 wetsuit, NOXEN hooded ponchos, goodies from the Edmund Hillary Collection and Torpedo7 and ORCA prize packs.