Sunday, February 13, 2011

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Painting to be auctioned

This is an oil painting donated by Sharnee Taylor. It will be auctioned at the Swim for Life Gala, held after the swim. Oil on canvas, size approx A2

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

37 Days To Go

Hey guys,
Keeping you updated on the process, as well if anyone has any information they would like to include email me and I will post it on here for you. 

I am training hard for the swim. I have been training in the pool as well as at the beach to get use to the conditions. I am busy contacting as many people as I can to help with coverage and support. If there is anyone you can think of please contact them or me with ideas. Also pass this blog address on to anyone you can. The more the better.
It is getting closer and there is still a lot to be done but I am overwhelmed with the support from everyone and all of your help. Thank you and will write soon.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Island Landscapes


 Map of Island

Smiths Beach

Interview with Mandy

Interview With Amanda Drennan By Sharnee Taylor.

Explain in detail ‘Swim For Life’ is about?

Swim For Life is about creating awareness and funds towards a 24-hour medical facility for Phillip Island. At present, there is no hospital at all on Phillip Island. The closest hospital is over 30 mins away in Wonthaggi.

Why are the effects of not having a hospital?

Since Warley Hospital closed at the start of 2008, there has been an over flow on Wonthaggi Hospital.

Also in times of car accidents, people have been unable to enter or leave the Island; therefore the only way to get off when in a medical emergency is to be airlifted to a Melbourne Hospital.

In summertime the Island over populates, more than tripling the regular amount of people. Simple accidents such as cutting your head open on a surfboard you currently have to travel over to Wonthaggi can take over 45 minuets if not longer in summers traffic conditions.
However this is not only a problem in the summertime but also with major events being held on the Island, such as: Grand Prix, Pyramid Rock, Superbikes, V8’s, Surfing Carnivals, just to name a few.

Back to the swim, what does it involve?

The swim is approximately 65kms around the circumference of Phillip Island. The swim will be done in a shark cage as Phillip Islands is know for having the largest Great White sharks in the southern hemisphere.
The swim will take approximately 4-5 days to complete being broken up into stages.

Are you scared?
I think I will be closing my eyes swimming through the Nobbies where the seal colony is. Where there are seals.. There are sharks. A few of my challenges will be some of the currents and tides, especially out at the Nobbies, which are quite strong. But my passion towards helping the Island overcomes my fears.

It is a great cause Mandy, I am sure there are so many people who want to get involved. How can people help?

Well Sharnee, people can help by spreading the word that Phillip Island is in desperate need of a Hospital. Donations are greatly appreciated; we are currently in the process of setting up a non-for profit charity account and get the bank account details as soon as possible.

We are looking for personal sponsors as well as businesses and companies to get involved. I am also inviting people to join in for a section of the swim, across the main beach in Cowes, which is one of the safest beaches to swim on Phillip Island. To be part of the swim we will be asking for a donation of $20, which will of course go towards the cause. I will soon update with the date and time of the public swim.

We will be holding a Gala after the swim (date and venue to be confirmed) where we will be holding an auction. We are looking for memorabilia to be donated, as well as artwork and prizes. 
My email address is if anyone wants to contact me to discuss further.

You seem very passionate about the cause, why is this so important to you?

My mother, Anne Drennan worked at Warley hospital for 29 years as a nurse. I was away in Germany at the time the Hospital closed, I felt so far away from home and wanted to help out in any way I could. The only thing I am good at is swimming J so I thought what could I do? I can up with the idea, which has never been done before- to swim around the Island to raise awareness and funds to go towards a 24-hour medical facility.

With the support of my family and friends, my dream is now becoming a reality, as I will be swimming around the Island in March. I hope the awareness and funds will be enough to open a 24-hour medical facility for Phillip Island.

24 Medical Clinic

Swim for Life
Swim for life is a fundraiser aimed towards raising money to build a new hospital or 24 hour medical centre, on Phillip Island.
At present, there is no hospital on Phillip Island. The only hospital on Phillip Island was Warley Hospital, which was shut down in 2008 due to the financial problems after the change in government.
Currently the closest hospital to Phillip Island is in Wonthaggi, over half an hour away, and back on the main land.
This means in the case of a major accident, in an emergency, if there is a road closure or a traffic jam, the only way to get an injured person/s or critically ill person to a Hospital is to get them off Phillip Island by air/helicopter, which is a costly and not always accessible means of transport.
There is also another problem related to safety, that the people of Phillip Island have been facing, and that is the lack of ambulances or safety services in the area- which is an alarming truth given that Phillip Island is home to over 7000 permanent residence and is also one of Victoria, and Australia’s most popular tourist destinations- with over 3.5 million visitors a year and 50000 holiday makers.
The main theme of this swim is to raise awareness of this issue, to the broader community – there is no hospital on Phillip Island, and we would like there to be one, we need one, it is unsafe not to have one and hopefully, this swim can help raise enough money to build and run a new one.
My involvement is as simple as a young woman, wanting to give back to a community that has supported me so much over the years on my journey as an elite athlete, a Paralympian, and an Islander.

Great Australia Day Swim

 Preparing for 1.4km swim in Brighton on Australia Day
 Start Line, I am over in the top left corner
Talking to the great 'Tammy Van Wisse' after the swim

My Story

I, Amanda Drennan was born on Phillip Island on the 22nd of May 1988 at the former Worley Hospital. I was born missing my right leg for reasons that remain unknown. My mother, Anne Drennan was also a nurse their at the time of my birth.
Growing up on Phillip Island my mother and father thought it was very important for me to involved in a sport. They decided that I should start swimming, as living on an island being able to swim was a big part of every child’s upbringing.

I first started swimming lessons at the age of 3 at a local swimming pool. At first I struggled as I was told by instructors that I wasn’t using my legs enough! My mother thought that I should concentrate on mainly using my arms which saw immediate improvement. As I got a bit older I used to go and watch my older sister swim at squad training. I became quite bored sitting by the side of the pool and one day decided that I would give it a go myself. At first I was unable to complete a full lap but with the help of a bribe in the form of Freddo Frogs I could soon swim many.

At the age of ten I competed in my first state championships and a year later I represented Australia at the school pacific games. In 2000 I tried out for the Paralympic Games which were held in Sydney. I made it into a backstroke final and was offered a wildcard entry into the games. After discussion with my parents and head coach it was decided that it would be in my best career interests not to except the this offer. Since then I have represented Australia in Paralympic Games, World Championships and World Cups. Below is a brief list of my major achievements.

·   2002 World Championships in Argentina – Gold medal in medley relay, Silver in Freestyle relay and 4th in the 100m  relay
·   2004 Paralympic Games in Athens, Greece. Bronze medal in freestyle relay, 5th in 100m freestyle and 7th in 100m backstroke
·   2005 World Cup in England/ British Nationals – 1st in 100m butterfly
·   2007 – lived in Germany for 7 months to pursue my swimming career, staying at a sports school in Berlin.
·   2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing, China. Finalist in the 400m freestyle

After missing selection for the 2010 Commonwealth Games I am now focussed on a totally new challenge. In 2008, the Worley hospital was closed after a change in government due to a lack of funding. Currently the closest hospital to Phillip Island is in Wonthaggi which is half an hour a way. At the moment if there is a major accident or emergency this will often lead to a road closure on the Island meaning  that the only way for the injured to get to hospital is by helicopter. There is also a lack of ambulances in area. These issues are especially worrying in the summer time and during special events such as the Grand Prix and Pyramid Rock. During these times the population on the Island can increase threefold, leading to heavy congestion on the roads. In peak season the risk that someone will die due to poor ambulance response time and/ or the time it would take to get them to a hospital  (could be greater than an hour) is greatly increased.
I feel that it is my time to give back to the Phillip Island community as they have always supported me both financially and emotionally throughout my career. In March 2011 I will be attempting to swim the full 66kms around Phillip Island to raise awareness and funds towards a hospital or a stabilisation centre for Phillip Island. In order to achieve my goal I will need support in the way of sponsorship or just to help raise awareness from as many people as possible. If you would like to help out or be a sponsor this would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time.