Courtesy of Ian Hanson
Surfers Paradise Ironman star Ali Day will take a break from Ironman competition this week to swim in the Optus Swim Sydney Harbour on Saturday.
He will join Australian Open Surf race champion and open water swim star Ollie Signorini in the 2km Sydney Harbour Race.
“I can’t wait actually – I swam the race a few years ago and it is so much fun – there can be no better backdrop for a swim than Sydney Harbour,” said Day, who is currently leading the Nutri-Grain Ironman Series with two rounds to go.
“The Ironman season is going really well and swimming is such a crucial part of what I do in the surf and to get the chance to race Ollie will be a nice break from Ironman.”
Day has joined forces with some of the biggest names in swimming as an ambassador for Swimming Australia’s innovative Australia Swims campaign – urging all Australians to go swim and celebrate a quintessential part of Australian life.
The five-time Coolangatta Gold champion will join ranks with legendary Olympians Ian Thorpe, Leisel Jones, Libby Trickett and Bronte Campbell to encourage people to help “swim around Australia.”
“I’m absolutely honoured to get the call from Swimming Australia and Optus to join in what is a fun campaign,” said Day, one of the SLSA poster boys.
“I have swum all my life – it’s been my life and being an Ironman it is such a crucial, important part of what we do in our training routine.
“I’m in the water every day and I am lucky enough to swim with some of the best swimmers in the world every morning.
“I remember swimming in the rock pools as a youngster down on the NSW South Coast where we grew up and I love nothing more than going back there and reliving those memories – it was great fun.
“I want every lifesaver around Australia to join in ‘Australia Swims’ and to get on social media and #AustraliaSwims and #Optus.
“Swimming is such an Australian thing and it is so important for all Australians to learn to swim and to keep on swimming – it is such a part of staying fit.”
Swimming Australia has targeted January 20 to January 28 as their festival of swimming with events and experiences held around Australia for all ages and swimming abilities. It all kick’s off with Optus Swim Sydney Harbour on Saturday 20th January .
Day is also encouraging all lifesavers to contribute to Australia Swims goal of completing a virtual lap of the country – logging their daily swims to cover the 35,877 kilometres around the Australian coastline.
“I’m lucky that I now swim in one of the best squads in Australia with Cam McEvoy, Madi Wilson and young gun Elijah Winnington at Bond University under coach Richard Scarce so I’ll be getting in their ears too to see how far they intend to swim and how many people they can inspire to get involved,” said Day.
All you have to do is log on to www.australiaswims.com.au and pledge how far you intend to swim over the 9 days.
Swimming legends past and present will also be part of the action, following in the footsteps of past ambassador, Olympian Daniel Kowalski with Thorpe, Jones, Trickett and Bronte Campbell all part of the campaign.
Thanks to the support of Optus, January will not only see Sydney Harbour come to life, but also pools and oceans across the country as part of a bigger celebration, Australia Swims.
Australia Swims is a nine-day festival that aims to encourage every Australian to reconnect with their love of swimming and Swimming Australia President John Bertrand AO thinks everyone should get involved.
“Swimming is a unique sport with no age barriers, no gender barriers and no ability barriers – anyone can be a swimmer – it’s in our DNA.
“This is about inspiring all Australians to be the swimmer they want to be, and as a nation surrounded by water, the 2018 Australia Swims celebration will give everybody the chance to get involved, share and celebrate our love for water activities,” Bertrand said.
To register for the Optus Swim Sydney Harbour or for more information on the event, click here: www.optusswimsydneyharbour.com.au
Stay tuned for more exciting announcements on Australia Swims this summer.
As a principal partner of Swimming Australia, Optus is proud to support Australian swimming from grassroots to the elite, powering the Australian Dolphins on their journey to Tokyo 2020 and inspiring more children to participate in Swimming through the Optus Junior Dolphins program. For more information go to optus.com.au/swimming