Last week, Youth Live4Life launched LAP it UP, urging people to swim laps to raise awareness of mental health and suicide prevention among young people in regional and rural communities.
The initiative was inspired by father-daughter team Sean and Kirsten McKinney, who in 2018 held an event at their local swimming pool in Gisborne with the aim of relaying and swimming 2,866 laps together – the same number of laps as the number of Australians who died by suicide. .
After two years in lockdown, Woodend-based Youth Live4Life continues McKinney’s legacy by hosting LAP it UP from November 10-20 to raise funds for the organization’s Live4Life initiative.
Youth Live4Life chief executive Bernard Galbally said swimming was “fantastic” exercise for the cause.
“It’s really great for your mental health as well as your physical health,” Galbally said.
“It’s a great initiative for us to be able to bring people together, whether online at the event finale, to celebrate the work that Live4Life is doing in the Victoria region.”
Youth Live4Life has teamed up with community pools in the Macedon Ranges – Kyneton Toyota Sports and Aquatics Center and Gisborne Aquatics Center – for the event finale on Sunday 20 November.
The organization encourages people to get involved and use the #LapitUp hashtag.
“Make your laps as long or as short as you want – swim in the ocean, in a 50-meter Olympic-style pool or even in a paddling pool in your backyard,” said Youth Live4Life.
If you or someone you know needs mental health support, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.