Ocean Swim a family affair
WITH only a few more sleeps until the 2009 Ocean Swims on Sunday, many swimmers are doing that extra bit of training both in local swimming pools and down at the Jetty, the site for the series of races.
With three swims on offer (2000m, 600m and 250m charity swim), the swim really has evolved into a family affair.
There are some families who should have dolphin as their middle names such as the Jozeps, Birds and Goddards. All have won many swimming awards with some in the distant but others in the not so distant past.
This Sunday will be the first time that the Goddard family of Kate, Emma and Ritchie have been able to join in the event as it has often clashed with their school swimming commitments in Sydney.
Ritchie is very excited to be participating and like many other swimmers is hoping for his name to be drawn out after the charity swims so he can donate funds to Coffs Harbour Early Intervention and Coffs Coast Autism.
Ritchie was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome as a very young child and it is through the work and support of organisations such as these that has helped Ritchie manage and cope with the somewhat stressful condition.
Swimming and the camaraderie that it brings has also been very instrumental in helping Ritchie with his social networks plus the opportunity of introducing many others within the community to autism and all it entails.
Along the way, Ritchie has medalled at various State and national swimming carnivals with many of the medals being gold.
Recently at the National Disability Age Championships held in Canberra, Ritchie secured a massive seven gold medals across freestyle, butterfly, backstroke and medley events.
So impressive was his swimming that an Australian scout has earmarked him for possibile inclusion in the Australian team for the Global Games.
Entries can be done online this week at www.coffsocean swims.com or at one of the registration days this weekend.
Held at the Coffs Harbour Yacht Club
Saturday - 2.00-3.30pm
Sunday - 6.30-8.15am
600m Swim - $15
2000m Swim - $25
250m Swim - $10
Entries received on the weekend will cost $10 extra.