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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.