In the swim: Club members about to swim from Kelvin Peninsula recently


Who says there’s no sport in Queenstown this Saturday morning now the marathon’s been postponed?

Southern Lakes Swimming Club’s taken the plunge by holding its season-opening open day
— usually held the day after the marathon — from its base by the Frankton Marina Coastguard building.

President Sheena Ashford-Tait says the club, which boasted about 85 swimmers last  season, welcomes any new members — meet 9am for a 9.45am swim.

She points out the benefits of cold water swimming, particularly for your mental health, have been well canvassed during this Covid pandemic.

Swimmers can also buy personal floatation safety buoys for $40 this Saturday — highly recommended for Lake Whakatipu — and check out demo wetsuits from Wanaka’s Ruby Fresh.

Meanwhile, the club’s planning an inaugural open water swimming charity event on December 18, in which swimmers are encouraged to swim any distance they can, any time between 5am and 10pm.

It’ll raise money for the I Am Hope mental health charity and also support club member Liana Smith’s fundraising.

Smith’s undertaking three marathon swims for the same cause — she’s completed two
and plans to swim Foveaux Strait in January.

Last year the club raised $2500-plus for St John from a 24-hour swimathon in the Alpine Aqualand pool.