A TEAM of lawyers from Corrs Chambers Westgarth swam more than 70 kilometres over 24 hours to raise money for the Multiple Sclerosis Society (MS Society) last week.
The 16 swimmers successfully completed the 24 Mega Swim, which was held at the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre, and raised more than $18,000 in the process. It was a relay-style event, with a requirement that at least one swimmer from each team was swimming at all times over the 24-hour period.
The Corrs team was organised by litigation lawyer Bran Black who said that the team “had a ball”. “I think they key thing for us is that the MS Society is a wonderful cause to support — they do such a great job in the community generally,” he said.
“But it was also a great way to actually support it. It’s very different from actually making a donation. It’s committing to the training, and them committing to the swim itself, and the challenge of trying to achieve a certain goal in terms of fundraising and distance covered in the pool as well.”
Black said he had no difficulty mustering up an enthusiastic team, which comprised people with differing levels of prowess in the pool.
“Quite a few people jumped in the pool who hadn’t done much swimming in years and pulled themselves into shape, so that was quite a big achievement for them. And then there were other people who just relied on the fact that they’d done a lot of swimming 10 years ago,” he said.
Black explained that the team tacked the challenge in shifts, with groups of four swimming for three hours then taking a break while the next four took to the pool. One of Blake’s more memorable moments occurred after he had finished a shift at 3.30am and decided to take a nap in his car parked in the pool’s carpark.
“When I woke up the carpark was just absolutely packed with all these families getting out for their early morning swim. I stumbled out of the car looking weary-eyed and I could see all these concerned partners wondering; ‘Where are we taking our children?’,” he laughed.
Jokes aside, Black said he was extremely impressed with the teams’ fundraising efforts — the grand total being more than three times their initial goal of $5000. “That was so much more than we expected, but we’d like to try and beat it next year,” he said.
The following day the Corrs team celebrated their considerable achievement with a well-earned yum cha lunch.