$38,050 worth of laps

Caleb receiving his medal from Live4Life chief executive Bernard Galbally, and fundraising and marketing manager Cheryl Eyssens (supplied).

Zoe Moffatt

Swimmers from across Australia have rallied to raise $38,050 for Macedon Ranges health promotion charity, Youth Live4Life.

The fundraiser, LAP it UP, ran from October 1 to 15, with participants clocking a total of 29,522 laps.

The Gisborne-born event started in 2018 when father and daughter team Sean and Kirsten McKinney hosted a continual 2866 lap relay, equalling the number of Australians that suicided in 2016.

Lancefield resident Caleb placed second on the leaderboard, completing 1500 laps for the charity. He said it felt amazing to achieve his goal, and at times he didn’t think he was going to reach it.

“It was harder than I was expecting, I was really sick for the first seven days and when I got back in the pool was struggling to make it from end to end,” Caleb said.

“I kept getting better and started going to the pool before and after school. The last 200 laps were hard, I was pretty sore and tired by then, but I was determined to get to the end.“

“I am proud of myself for putting in the effort. Knowing that I have done something that could help one of my mates one day when they need it most, is a good feeling.“

Caleb said he is already looking forward to participating next year, as he likes the challenge and doing something good for the community.

Youth Live4Life fundraising and marketing manager Cheryl Eyssens said she was blown out of the water by the dedication of participants and the way team members encouraged each other.

“The sheer commitment, enthusiasm and perseverance of our entrants over the 15 days, was awe inspiring,” she said.

“This represents the true essence of LAP it UP and we are so proud of everyone.

“We were also pleased to see that 75 per cent of participants came from rural areas with young people aged between 11 and 17 years having the highest rate of participation.

“We are looking forward to next year’s event.”