What is the MS Swimathon?

The MS Swimathon is a Queensland based fundraising initiative where teams of at least 4 people are sponsored by friends, family and work colleagues to swim in a 12-hour relay; raising vital funds for Queenslanders living with multiple sclerosis (MS).

Although it is a challenge, you don’t need to be a competitive swimmer to participate – people of all abilities can join in and take part. You can swim any style or distance that suits you; whether it be 1 or 100 laps in freestyle, breaststroke, sidestroke, or doggy paddle – it is all about participation!

Seven MS Swimathon events are held across the state in the Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, Toowoomba, Redcliffe, Central Queensland, Mackay and Townsville.

How does it work?

Teams of at least four swimmers participate in a 12-hour swim relay – individual teams are responsible for creating a roster for their swimmers, so you can swim as many laps as you wish! But there are some rules, click to view the MS Swimathon rules.

If you can’t find any family or friends to join you but would still like to take part, don’t worry. Call us on 1300 090 923 and we can coordinate a team for you to join.

Who can take part?

Anyone can take part! Whether you are 5 or 85 years old, a doggy paddler or squad swimmer… we’d love you to dive in!

Where will the event take place?

MS Swimathon events are held at seven locations across the state, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, Redcliffe, Toowoomba, Central Queensland, Mackay & Townsville.

Click here for more information on your local MS Swimathon!

Do I have to be a good swimmer?

The MS Swimathon is a fun day where almost anyone can join in, however, you should have basic swimming ability and be able to swim at least one lap of a pool unassisted.

Because you are swimming a relay with a team, some people will swim lots of laps, and others will only swim a few. There’s no pressure to go at a particular speed or stroke; you can take it at your own pace and lifeguards will be on duty for the duration of the event.

Can I use floatation aids? 

Yes, swimmers are permitted to use flotation devices and swimming aids (including fins/flippers, kick boards, noodles and wet suits) except during the Hour of Power (unless approved by the MS Queensland team).

Do you have merchandise?

The official MS Swimathon merchandise is available to reward superstar fundraisers. Unfortunately, this merchandise is not for sale, but you can get your own… all you need to do is raise $100 to take home the MS Swimathon t-shirt or make it to $250 to take home the t-shirt and the MS Swimathon towel!

Are there prizes?

Absolutely! You can be awarded for your efforts in and out of the pool… click to check out the awards and prizes


How do I enter?

The quickest and easiest way to register is on our website here, where you can register as an individual, family or team.

Should you wish to register offline using cash, cheque, or money order, please contact us on 1300 090 923 or events@msqld.org.au.

Can I register for more than one person?

You can definitely register more than one person - the more the merrier. If you are signing up more than one person, you will need to have a separate email address for each adult participant. Parent's do have the option to manage their child's fundraising page when registering.

When will entries close?

Online entries will be open from launch to the event day. If you want to register at the swim, we will have offline registration forms available. We do recommend registering online beforehand, so you can dive right in and make a splash for people living with MS.

What if we don’t have enough email addresses for the whole family?

As your email is also your username, so each adult participant will require their own unique email address to be able to create an online account. Do you have a work or personal email address you could use? Do you have iCloud account for an iPad?

If you don’t have any other emails you could use, we suggest setting up a free email – it takes just two minutes on Gmail or Hotmail.

Alternatively, when registering an adult & child, the adult can manage the child's account without requiring a separate email address.

What if I don’t want my child to have a fundraising page?

To finalise registration, an online fundraising page will be created, however you can contact us requesting for it to be hidden. Email us at events@msqld.org.au with your request and we will hide your child’s fundraising page.

How do I create a team?

Registering a team is easy, just follow the below steps:

Start by registering yourself as an individual

  • At the bottom of the page “CREATE YOUR PAGE” there is the option to create or join a team
  • The person who creates the team is by default the Team Captain (this can be changed later, simply let us know! events@msqld.org.au)
  • You can then let other people know about your team, so that they can join the team when they register
  • You can also login after registering and create your team from your Dashboard.

**When creating a team – there is the option to ‘allow anyone to join your team’. It can be set to ‘invitation only’ so only people who get sent the team page link will be able to join the team. Please note that your team mates must use the link you sent them to be able to register for your team.

Teams must have a minimum of four swimmers– if you need help to set your team up contact the team on 1300 090 923 or email events@msqld.org.au

How do I join a team?

Joining a team is easy - just follow the below steps:

  • Start by registering yourself as an individual
  • At the bottom of the page "Create your Page" there is an option to create or join a team
  • Click on 'Join a team' and type your team name into the search field to search for your preferred team* 

*If you cannot find your team - your Team Captain may have set the team to invite only and they will need to send you a link so you can join the team.

What do I receive for my registration?

Your registration goes towards the costs of running the MS Swimathon event, your fundraising is what makes a real difference to people living with MS.

On event day, you will experience, a COVID-19 safe, secure organised event with lifeguards, MS Queensland staff members and volunteers present throughout the entire event.

You will also receive your personal online fundraising page. With a range of new features, your fundraising page is easy to use and a great platform to help you raise money for people living with MS.

Most of all, by taking part in the MS Swimathon, you will have the opportunity to take part in something amazing and help have a true impact for people living with MS.

I can’t find anyone to join in my team, can I still participate?

Absolutely! If you would like to enter as an individual – we will find a team for you to join. Simply contact us, and we can discuss which teams may need additional members. Our Team MS is open to everyone too!

Once you have registered please call us on 1300 090 923 or email event@msqld.org.au to talk about your options. It could be a great way to meet some new friends or get involved with your local swimming club!

I can’t swim; however, I want to help people with MS- what can I do?

It’s wonderful to hear that you want to help make an impact for people living with MS. If you can’t swim yourself there are a few ways that you can still show your support. You can always make a donation to a swimmer or team participating in the MS Swimathon! Or come and join us on the day as one of our volunteers. To find out more information give us a call at 1300 090 923 or email events@msqld.org.au  


I want to fundraise, but I don’t know how or where to start. Where can I get more information?

It’s wonderful you would like to fundraise to help the thousands of Queenslanders living with MS. We recommend personalising your fundraising page with a photo of you. This shows your supporters they are supporting YOUR Swim. The next step is to start asking family, friends and colleagues to sponsor you.

We find email works best! Just an email (we can even provide you with a template, which can be found on your dashboard), to all your friends, family, colleagues and other networks can raise hundreds of dollars very quickly. Also asking for sponsorship on Facebook, and asking people face-to-face are very effective ways to make a difference. We are here to help coach you through any fundraising methods. Get in touch with us on 1300 090 923 or events@msqld.org.au.

Why not ask your workplace for a donation as well.  Lots of businesses are more than happy to match your own donation and fundraising – effectively doubling your impact!

We also have loads of resources and downloads to help you reach your fundraising goals. If you require any further assistance, please contact us on 1300 090 923 or email us at events@msqld.org.au and we are more than happy to help.

Where does the money go?

The funds raised through the MS Swimathon are vital in providing services to almost 4,000 Queenslanders living with MS. These services include our NeuroAssist information line, NDIS access and planning support, specialist nursing services, wellness programs and financial assistance to access critical equipment and services for those who need it most.

Most importantly, your support ensures that no one faces MS alone.

How do I add cash donations that I have collected to my fundraising page?

There are a number of ways you can bank any donations you receive via cash and cheque/money order. Click here for more information.

Are donations tax-deductible?

Yes – donations or sponsorships over $2.00 are fully tax deductible.

Sponsors who donate to your online fundraising page will automatically receive a tax-deductible receipt via email once the transaction is complete. If you collect offline donations, you can add these to your fundraising page and a receipt will be emailed to the donor once complete.

Alternatively, we can provide you with an offline donation form to record all the information and process the receipts manually. Contact us at events@msqld.org.au or call 1300 090 923 for more information



When will I receive information about the day?

You will receive regular event emails from when you register up to event day. In the week leading up to your event, an email will be sent with information specific to event day, including when to arrive, what’s happening throughout the day and other exciting announcements.

What happens if it is raining or bad weather is forecast?

The event will go ahead rain or shine, unless there is a significant danger to participants because of poor visibility, lightning, storms, cyclones or strong winds.

If conditions are deemed too hazardous by the MS Queensland team, a notification will be posted on our MS Swimathon Facebook page and we will send you an email/SMS.

If bad weather develops during the event, organisers will ensure the safety of the participants and decide if it is safe to continue.

Can I request a refund if I am unable to attend the event due to sickness?

Entry fees are non-transferable and non-refundable, unless at the discretion of the event organisers. To discuss obtaining a refund due to illness, including COVID-19 please contact MS Queensland on events@msqld.org.au or 1300 090 923.

Can I request a refund for any other reason?

Entry fees are non-transferable and non-refundable, unless at the discretion of the event organisers. To discuss obtaining a refund due to illness, including COVID-19 please contact MS Queensland on events@msqld.org.au or 1300 090 923.

Do I need to be there the whole time?

No, you may come and go as you please however we welcome you to stay and cheer on your teammates. We know they would love the support! Your team captain will be responsible for working out a swim and lap counting roster. It may be that you only need to be there for an hour or two; however, we suggest arriving at the pool 15 minutes before you are rostered on to swim.

For the safety of all participants, both participants and event spectators will need to use our QR code to check into the event.

We‘d love for you be there for the final presentations – it is great to be a part of the buzz of achievement as we celebrate swimming 12 hours to support people with MS!

What measures have you put in place to make the event COVID Safe?

MS Queensland is working with all relevant stakeholders to ensure we deliver the safest events possible for everyone involved.

The MS Queensland team will work with each venue to ensure COVID safe conditions.

We have also introduced a range of COVID safe measures for event day that include:

  • Introduced hand sanitising stations at various locations around the venue
  • Working with the venue to ensure all high touch point areas are cleaned frequently
  • Allocating specific ends of the pool for each team to facilitate physical distancing
  • Providing air pumps for teams to utilise to blow up any inflatables being used throughout the day

What can I do to help keep the event COVID Safe?

We’d love your support in helping to keep the event as safe as possible for you and all the participants.

Below is a list of ways that you can help us to ensure that the event remains COVID Safe:

  • Stay home…
    …if you are feeling unwell, or if you have any COVID-19 symptoms including the following: cough, sore throat, runny nose, fever, loss of smell and/or taste.
    …if you or any member of your household has a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19, or is yet to recieve results of a test
  • Ensure that you are following all relevant Government directives around self-isolation if you have travelled in the lead up to the event.
  • Follow physical distancing requirements of 1.5m for the duration of the event
  • Bring your own personal hand sanitiser or use the hand sanitiser on site frequently
  • Follow the directions of MS Queensland staff and volunteers
  • Wear a face mask if social distancing is difficult

Thank you for your support for ensuring you and your fellow participants are kept as safe as possible at the MS Swimathon events.

Can’t find the answer?
Get in touch with the MS Queensland team at events@msqld.org.au or call 1300 090 923