Griffith MS Swimathon with Jess Ashwood

Australian swimmer and Griffith student Jess Ashwood will be the star of the show this weekend at the second MS Swimathon on Sunday 18 October 2015.

To be held at the University’s Mt Gravatt Aquatic and Fitness Centre, the event willhelp raise vital funds for people living with multiple sclerosis (MS) and is designed for participants of all ages and abilities.

Ms Ashwood, who was selected to represent Australia at the2012 Summer Olympicsin the 800-metre freestyle event, is also in her first year of study at Griffith for a double degree in Psychological Science, Criminology and Criminal Justice. She is also a member of the Griffith Sports College.

“Being the Griffith ambassador for the MS Swimathon is a privilege and I see it as a great way of giving back to the community,” says the Sydney-born swimmer.

“As an elite athlete, I am lucky to be fit and healthy but I am aware that this is not the case for everyone and I am glad to be able to give back to those that struggle with MS and can be in pain every day.”

The key requirement of the relay is that teams must have one swimmer in the water at all times during the 12 hour event.

The event has already raised $15,000 for MS Queensland.

MS is becoming increasingly common, mainly amongst women aged between 20 years and 40 years. It’s an incurable disease which affects a person’s central nervous system causingirreparabledamage.

“MS QLDisdetermined to provide more services on Brisbane’s southside to help locals with MS remain living independently,” said MS Queensland CEO, Lincoln Hopper.

“There are more than 370 people living with MS on the southside of Brisbane alone, many of whom need our vital services like education and information workshops on managing their diagnosis, homes visits from an MS nurse, emergency respite, or long-term residential accommodation, depending on the nature and severity of their MS.”

Griffith Sports College Manager Duncan Free OAM, said: “It’s really great to see a representative swimmer supporting this event and great to see so many people already joining in on the day. We encourage as many people as possible to get involved — every little bit helps.

“It doesn’t matter if you can do 100 fast laps or doggy paddle just one, everyone can join in, have fun and support people living with MS.”

The MS Swimathon is a community-based event that encourages everyone to take part and raise money to help people living with MS. Participants can raise donations by asking for a one-off donation from friends and family or being sponsored based on the number of laps they can do.

Participants don’t need to be a ‘competitive’ swimmer to participate, people of all abilities can join in and take part. You can swim any style or distance that suits you, whether it be one or one hundred laps in doggy paddle, freestyle, sidestroke, or breaststroke — it is all about participation! For this year’s event, people are invited to register right up until the day at:

Griffith Sport MS Swimathon

WHEN: Sunday 18 October

WHERE: Mount Gravatt Aquatic & Fitness Centre, Griffith University Mt Gravatt Campus.

TIME: 7am – 7pm

Phone: 07 3840 0887