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!
Eight MS Swimathon events are held across the state in the Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, Toowoomba, Redcliffe, Rockhampton, Gladstone, 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 Swimathons are held at eight locations across the state, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, Redcliffe, Toowoomba, Gladstone, Rockhampton, 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 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.
That being said, the MS Swimathon is a swimming event and so basic swimming ability is needed for your own safety.
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 Hours of Power (unless approved by the MS Queensland team).
Do you have merchandise?
We have our official MS Swimathon merchandise available to award our 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 our MS Swimathon t-shirt or make it to $250 to take home the t-shirt and our MS Swimathon towel!
Are there prizes?
Absolutely! We award 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why can’t I retrieve my details from previous swims?
We introduced a brand-new website and fundraising dashboard, meaning you cannot retrieve your details from previous MS Swimathon events.
You will not be required to create a username, the email address you enter will be your username.
If you are signing up more than one person, you will need to have a separate email address for each participant.
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 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.
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 email@example.com with your request and we will hide your child’s fundraising page.
How do I create a team?
Creating a team is easy! Start by finding which MS Swimathon location and select ‘sign up.’ Follow the registrations steps and there will be a ‘Create a Team’ option. The hardest part is picking your awesome team name!
The person who creates the team will automatically become Team captain. You can use the team page to organise your team members, manage your team’s fundraising and acknowledge supporters who have donated to the 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 firstname.lastname@example.org– we are here to help!
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 in your local community 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!
Once you have registered please call us on 1300 090 923 or email email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
I want to fundraise, but I don’t know how or where to start. Where can I get more information?
First of all, thank you! It is wonderful that you want to fundraise and support people in your local community living with MS. We have all sorts of tips, tricks and tools to get your fundraising started – simply follow this link…I want to fundraise.
Don’t forget, Victoria and the MS Queensland team are here to support you every step of the way. To get in touch, you can contact Vic directly at (07) 3840 0812 or email email@example.com
Where does the money go?
The money raised by the MS Swimathon helps to fund vital services and support for people living with MS in the local communities. Because of incredible supports like you, we can fund vital services such as:
- The NeuroAssist infoline, giving people hope in their darkest time
- Accommodation, giving a home to young Queenslanders across the state, keeping them out of aged care
- Regional information sessions, enabling people in regional areas feel empowered and connected
- Wellbeing Centres, helping more people access exercise classes and physiotherapy close to their home
- A skilled and compassionate team of Service Coordinators, giving families confidence their loved one would get the vital services they need to live their best life.
Most importantly, through your commitment and dedication – you have joined our vision to ensure that no one faces MS alone.
How do I add cash donations that I have collected to my fundraising page?
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1300 090 923 for more information
EVENT DAY INFORMATION
When will I receive information about the day?
You will receive regular event newsletters, as well as an email in the week before the event 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, please contact MS Queensland on email@example.com 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, please contact MS Queensland on firstname.lastname@example.org 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 local people with MS!
What measures have you put in place to make the event COVID Safe?
MS Queensland is working with all relevant authorities to ensure we deliver the safest events possible for everyone involved.
As the MS Swimathons are all classified as Category Three events by the Industry Framework for COVID Safe Events, published by the Queensland Government, the MS Swimathons will complete and adhere to the COVID Safe Event Checklist.
Further to this the MS Swimathons will work with each venue to ensure the events are adhering to their individual COVID Safe Plans.
We have also introduced a range of COVID Safe measures for event day that include:
- Participants must check in to each venue on arrival for the day
- 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?
In order for us to help keep the event COVID Safe, we will need the help of all participants as much as possible.
Below is a list of ways that you can help us to ensure that the event remains COVID Safe:
…if you are feeling unwell, or if you have any of the following symptoms: cough, sore throat, runny nose, fever, loss of smell and/or taste
…if you or any member of your household is currently being tested for COVID-19 and is yet to receive results
…if you or any member of your household has been in contact with a person isolated by a medical practitioner or who has a confirmed case of COVID-1 in the 14 days before the event
- Ensure that you are following all relevant Government and health authority regulations 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
- Don’t greet your teammates with hugs
- Wear a face mask when not swimming
- Follow the directions of MS Queensland staff and volunteers
- Check into the site on arrival using the QR Code provided on signs throughout the venue
- Download the COVID Safe App to your mobile phone prior to attending the event
Thank you for your support for ensuring you and your fellow participants are kept as safe as possible at the MS Swimathon events.