Navy to launch national Ocsober campaign with 24-hour relay swim

Published on Mr Pup Elliott (author), POIS Paul Berry (photographer)

Location(s): ADFA, Canberra

Topic(s): Ocsober, Swimming

Deputy Director Navy Reputation Management, Commander Lewis Gaha, gets some last minute training in ahead of Navy's 'Ocsober' 24-hour fundraising swimathon at the ADFA Pool. (photo: POIS Paul Berry)
Deputy Director Navy Reputation Management, Commander Lewis Gaha, gets some last minute training in ahead of Navy's 'Ocsober' 24-hour fundraising swimathon at the ADFA Pool.

Navy swimmers are preparing to hit the pool for 24 hours tomorrow to launch the 2013 Ocsober campaign and help Aussie kids.

The Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Ray Griggs, AO, CSC, RAN, and the Chief Executive Officer of Life Education NSW, Mr Jay Bacik, will launch the annual National Ocsober Awareness campaign at the Australian Defence Force Academy Pool tomorrow morning, before kicking off the 24-hour team relay swimming event.

Uniformed personnel from the Australian Capital Territory will converge on the pool from midday, when the first team members will enter the water for the continuous swim - which won't conclude until midday Saturday. 

Commander Lewis Gaha, who will swim for ‘Team Plankton’, said it was endurance, not speed, that the team looked for when recruiting swimmers to fill the forty eight 30-minute swim shifts which will cover the 24-hour period.

“We are doing this for a bit of fun and to help raise some valuable funds to help educate kids,” he said.

“I am glad the pool is heated, because somehow I ended up with a couple of very late swims! But, it's all in good fun and for a great cause,” CMDR Gaha said.

Navy is in its fourth year of supporting Life Education's Ocsober campaign, which encourages Aussies to go ‘sober’ to raise money for Life Education Australia.

Life Education is the largest non-government provider of drug and health education to Australian kids. The not-for-profit organisation visits primary schools to teach students about the dangers of excessive alcohol and drug use through their lovable giraffe mascot, Healthy Harold, who has been a favourite with kids for 30 years.

The aim of Ocsober 2013 is to raise funds to help Life Education and Healthy Harold reach even more Australian school children across the country.

Navy was the top corporate fundraiser in 2012, raising a total of $45,688 for Life Education.

Members of the Navy family are encouraged to support the Navy swimmers at the ADFA pool from midday tomorrow.

Deputy Director Navy Reputation Management, Commander Lewis Gaha, gets some last minute training in ahead of Navy's 'Ocsober' 24 hour fundraising swimathon at the ADFA Pool.

Deputy Director Navy Reputation Management, Commander Lewis Gaha, gets some last minute training in ahead of Navy's 'Ocsober' 24 hour fundraising swimathon at the ADFA Pool.