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Monday, March 19, 2018

Making A Big Splash In Hong Kong

Photo of Nadine Bubner, Francois Thouvenin, Nathan Colless and Mary Joy de Castillo by Mhelz Catamin.

Photo of Mercy Cejas and Mai-Britt Alfheim by Mhelz Catamin.

Photo of Alison and Sophie Cheng with 2016 Rio Olympian Camille Cheng on right by Mhelz Catamin.

Report courtesy of Libby Alexander, Splash Foundation, Hong Kong.

March 18th's charity event in Hong Kong raised over HK500,000 for the Splash Foundation, Hong Kong's only charitable swim school for domestic workers and low-income kids.

Co-founder Libby Alexander explained, "Nearly 300 swimmers in 44 relay teams took part, racing the clock to see how many laps they could swim in 30 minutes. Companies, families, schools, swim clubs, and migrant workers have given adults and kids from marginalised communities in Hong Kong opportunities to learn to swim as a result.

Our aim was to bring together people from different backgrounds who share a love of swimming. It was amazing how the Hong Kong community pulled together to create a special day for our Splash graduates, who every other day of the week give so much to Hong Kong families.

The course record was smashed by Olympians, Camille Cheng, Sandy Chan, Hannah Wilson and 'Splashers' Lynly Flores and Richmond de Los Reyes.

The event, hosted by Canadian International School, brought together experienced swimmers with Splash graduates, some of whom had only learned to swim in the last few months.

"Today is the best experience ever," said Vilma Domaoal. "I never thought I would have the chance to swim in the same race as Olympians."

The Splash Dash Relay was sponsored by leading international law firm, Herbert Smith Freehills, and organised by Splash that is dedicated to bringing swimming opportunities to migrant workers, refugees and underprivileged young people in Hong Kong.

Linh Carpenter, Race Director and Senior Splash Coach said, "In the space of three years we have taught more than 1,200 people to swim; some of whom, for one reason or another, never had the means nor the opportunity to do so before. Many people today were swimming in their first competitive race. It was the culmination of their remarkable determination to learn an invaluable life skill. Today, they showed the rest of Hong Kong what they can do."

For more information on Splash Foundation, visit www.splashfoundation.org.

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