WEST BLOOMFIELD, MI, September 11. JOSH Gottlieb has recently provided SwimInfo with information about what seems a worthy charity event involving our sport that several other swimming organizations have apparently already determined to support, Swim the World for Malaria, December 3, 2005.
1.5 million people die of malaria every year. That needn't happen.
The proposition is very simple – if a million of us swim, we will save 250,000 people. If we don't swim, 250,000 people will die. Let's swim.
I am the executive director of The Malaria Project, which is an organization working with young people around the world to raise awareness and funding to fight malaria in Africa. Over 3000 children die of malaria every day. 1 in 20 African children will not live to age 5 because of malaria. Yet just a few dollars can save the life of a child.
The Malaria Project has partnered with a number of other organizations in organizing a global charity swim to take place in December of 2005. The goal is to have a million people swimming all around the world on the same day. Already involved are US Masters Swimming, World Modern Pentathlon, Triathlon Australia, Triathlon Canada, the state of Colorado, New Zealand (masters, triathletes, and schools), South Africa (similarly), British Triathlon, Speedo, and numerous other schools and swimming groups from Latin America, Asia, the Middle East, and Europe.
The Malaria Project has pledged to bring in 5000 swimmers. I ask for your help in reaching that goal.
1. 100% of the money raised will go to the people who need it.
2. There are already over 100,000 swimmers worldwide. That makes this the largest participatory swim ever planned in the world.
3. The 3 leading swimming magazines in the world as well as a number of media groups have promised support.
4. Two former Olympic gold medalists, Adrian Moorhouse in the UK and Shane Gould in Australia have agreed to front this project in their respective countries.
5. Each individual swim will deal with their own pool access, rounding up of swimmers, and raising and collecting of money.
6. Swimmers could be students, parents, teachers, or community members. Money raised by a swimmer would be on a best efforts basis.
7. Each school or organization that chooses to become involved would organize their own swim in their own way. A day and a distance is set for the swim, but neither is binding so as to exclude people from participating.
The response to this project, from swimmers at all levels and from ordinary people, has been unanimously enthusiastic. There has never been a global swim, yet it makes so much sense. Swimming doesn't discriminate: whether you are black/white, male/female, young/old, Christian/Atheist/Jewish/Muslim – you can swim. Hopefully this will be the beginning of a new tradition.
The simplicity of this initiative is echoed with my question here: do you think it is likely that your school or organization will participate with a swim and roughly how many swimmers do you anticipate? Of course you will need to discuss this with others to confirm you can participate and with how many swimmers, but I would appreciate you contacting me now with a preliminary estimate.
I very much hope you will join us. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Tel: (312) 498-3653