When Phil Murray first organised The Great Ocean Pool Crawl, he had no idea his own family would need the support of the Cancer Council.
12 years on, the event attracts around 80 participants and has raised more than $160,000 for the charity.
Phil, a real estate agent with Bevans Corrimal, was door-knocking homes in Towradgi when he started talking to a resident who hosted a regular ‘Biggest Morning Tea’, a Cancer Council fundraising initiative. The event had become too big for her so Phil offered up his office and they hosted the event from there.
“Real estate agents are notoriously competitive,” says Phil. “We wanted it to be bigger and better every year so the event quickly outgrew our office, and the associated fundraising was overwhelming. We had to look at other options.”
A keen ocean-pool swimmer, Phil was knocking out his daily laps in Towradgi pool when he came up with the idea for the Great Ocean Swim. He enlisted the aid of a mate, who owned the Corrimal pub, wrangled his courtesy bus to transfer the swimmers, and the event was born.
Today, The Great Ocean Pool Crawl has grown to attract around 80 swimmers who swim two laps of each of the seven pools from Coalcliff to Towradgi.
“It’s a great day,” says Phil. “We all travel together between pools on the Party Bus and there are prizes for the best-dressed and the highest fundraiser. As well as lucky door prizes and auctions.
Phil says when he started the Great Ocean Pool Crawl, he had no idea cancer would touch his family, but a few years ago, his son was diagnosed with Leukaemia.
“We got permission from the Cancer Council to run an extraordinary event, an extra Pool-Crawl, and were able to raise enough to help him keep his home while he underwent treatment up in Sydney,” says Phil. “I got to experience first-hand why fundraising like this is so important.”
The goal this year is to attracts 100 swimmers. If you think you can swim two laps of the seven pools between Coalcliff and Towradgi, and have a lot of fun doing it, you can register HERE.
The Great Ocean Swim will be held on Sunday March 22. Check in is at Corrimal Hotel at 9am, you swim, then head back to Corrimal on the bus for a special ocean-swimmers lunch. Make sure you register early to secure your seat on the Party Bus!
If you want to know more or would like to sponsor this amazing and unique event, contact Phil on 0411 854 785