This month I travelled down from Saskatoon to attend the 3rd Annual Georgina Syrgiannis Swim Marathon at the Lawson Aquatic Centre in Regina.
The swim-a-thon hosted by the Regina Dolphins Swim Club, in partnership with DirectWest, is a memorial fundraiser in memory of Georgina who lost her battle with a rare form of cancer just two-and-half years ago.
In speaking with Georgina's husband Jim and event organizers, it became clear to me the close connection that Georgina had to the swim club and to DirectWest, a local Saskatchewan company where Georgina worked and developed many close friendships over the years.
Georgina is the mother of Matthew, a competitive swimmer with the Dolphins. She spent most of her non-working time driving her son to the pool multiple times per week and volunteering for the organization. The swim club was like a second family to the Syrgiannis's, a bond that was further solidified by the rally of support they offered to Jim, Matthew and Georgina during a very difficult season.
Leading up to the event, kids from the team were asked to gather pledges, with a portion of the proceeds going to Caring Hearts - an organization in Saskatchewan that specializes in medical and nursing care, support counselling and education for people with life limiting illnesses.
The marathon got underway with sixty-plus athletes jumping into the pool. It was incredible to watch these young athletes "swim their hearts out", demonstrating their sheer strength and stamina lap after lap for an hour straight.
Families and friends cheered loudly from the stands, often leaning towards the water to offer words of support. Coaches were pacing up and down reminding the athletes on their time and volunteers were counting laps while recording individual times.
This event was more than a fundraiser - it was an opportunity to demonstrate to these young athletes that they can make a significant and lasting difference in the lives of those in need in their communities by using the skills, talents and abilities they already posses.
Thank you for reading!