Olympic hero Thorpey calls on everyone from legends to novices to jump into the water this March in support of youth mental health


Olympic gold medalist Ian Thorpe AM is encouraging everyone across Australia to jump into the pool or ocean this March to take part in Laps for Life – an annual swimming fundraiser held in support of youth mental health and suicide prevention.

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Laps for Life participants set their own swimming and fundraising challenges, which they complete at their own pace and preferred locations throughout March. Funds raised are in support of youth mental health service ReachOut – a safe, online place for young people to chat anonymously, get support, and feel better.

Laps for Life Ambassador and multiple Olympic gold medal winner Thorpey said that an Olympic year is a great time to get involved in Laps for Life, no matter your swimming ability.

“This March I’m calling on everyone across the country to jump in the pool or ocean and swim Laps for Life in support of young people’s mental health and suicide prevention.

“You’ll be swimming for the 1 in 3 young people in Australia currently experiencing a mental health difficulty – that could be someone in your family, someone you love, yourself or even your younger self.

“One of the things I love about Olympic years is the energy and enthusiasm that so many of us feel about trying a new sport or getting back into one we might have forgotten about. It’s always wonderful to hear about people jumping into the water and enjoying the benefits that swimming can have. Laps for Life is a great way to make all of those laps count,” he said.

ReachOut’s Director of Marketing and Fundraising, Tracey Campbell, said that Laps for Life is an important event that puts mental health and suicide prevention in the spotlight.

“In the sixth year of Laps for Life, it’s inspiring to see new people jumping into the water and others coming back to challenge themselves once again – both when it comes to their laps and their fundraising.

“Over the years, Laps for Life has grown into a vibrant community of swimmers united not only by their passion for swimming, but also the cause. Youth mental health and suicide prevention remains at the heart of Laps for Life. This event exists to support the work of ReachOut and to raise funds but it is just as much about sharing stories, opening up conversations and encouraging people to seek support when it comes to their mental health,” she said.

Laps for Life participants have swum over 330,000kms since 2019 – the equivalent of swimming around the world over eight times. Last year alone over 10,000 people took part in Laps for Life and this year swimmers are taking part all across Australia from Sydney to Burnie.

Laps for Life is open to everyone across Australia and is easy to take part in. People can get involved by visiting lapsforlife.com.au and signing up as an individual, or as a team.

/Public Release.