You probably know him best thanks to his life-saving escapades on Network Ten’s Bondi Rescue, but for the past six years lifeguard Andrew ‘Reidy’ Reid has been making a splash in Sydney Harbour, in honour of his mother who is living with Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia.
Each year, Reidy hosts the Sydney Harbour Splash event which inspires thousands of swimmers to take on a variety of distance challenges, raise money for Dementia Australia, and make a difference to the lives of people impacted by dementia.
The 2022 event will see participants dive in at Rose Bay on Australia Day, Wednesday, January 26.
Reid said he was inspired to take action after his mother was diagnosed with dementia.
“I felt like the best thing I could do was to partner with Dementia Australia and do whatever I could try to raise money and awareness,” he said.
“I hope one day we can find a cure, but in the meantime I’m excited to be able to host events like the Sydney Harbour Splash to help improve the lives of all those impacted by this disease.”
Maree McCabe, CEO, Dementia Australia said in his role as ambassador for the organisation, Reid has long been strongly committed to making a difference.
“We are so grateful to Reidy for his inspirational efforts, and to all the swimmers who will come together to make a splash in the world’s best harbour in support of people impacted by dementia,” McCabe said.
“During the past two years, Sydney Harbour Splash events have raised more than $15,000 for Dementia Australia, and this money has helped to fund important support services for people impacted by dementia, as well as vital research.”
Participants will have the opportunity to take in stunning views of the Harbour Bridge as they complete their swims.
Reid said the fundraiser is a winner on a range of levels.
“This event is always so much fun and provides a great opportunity for participants to get active, meet new people, and fundraise in a beautiful location,” he said.
“Whether you’re speedy or slow, young or old, silly or serious, if you’re a keen swimmer you are invited to dive in for a 1km, 2.5km or 5km fundraising swim.”
There will be prizes offered across different age groups and distances, and for overall winners.
At present there are almost half a million people of all ages living with all forms of dementia in Australia.
Without a major medical breakthrough this figure is projected to increase to one million people by 2058.
Events like Sydney Harbour Splash play an important role not only in funding support, but also in raising awareness of dementia.
The safety and wellbeing of participants, volunteers and staff is the event team’s top priority.
Water safety will be provided for all three distances.
The event organisers are monitoring the COVID-19 situation constantly.
They have applied COVID-learnings from other recent outdoor events to their planning and remain confident the event will go ahead as planned.
For more information about the Sydney Harbour Splash event, including information on how to register or donate, click here.