Quorn swimmers make a splash for youth suicide prevention

Some of the Quorn Swimmers Laps for Life team enjoying a morning swim.

Some of the Quorn Swimmers Laps for Life team enjoying a morning swim.

A group of Quorn swimmers are hitting the pool and making a splash, all in the name of youth suicide prevention.

One in four young Australians are currently experiencing poor mental health, but there's an even bigger problem; 70 per cent of those who need help don't get it.

After seeing Olympic champion Ian Thorpe promoting Laps for Life, Jacinta Hannigan and her friends couldn't resist the opportunity to raise awareness for the cause.

"We love swimming and it's a great cause!" Jacinta said.

"The website provided by the organisation ReachOut is brilliant. So many resources for young people, their parents and the schools."

ReachOut is an online mental health organisation for young people and their parents.

It provides practical support, tools and tips help young people get through anything from everyday issues to tough times.

ReachOut's Laps for Life is a month-long swimming challenge event in March, created to raise funds and awareness for young people in Australia living with mental health difficulties.

Jacinta and her team of 11 have raised close to $4,500 and are currently ranked 10th nationally among 460 other teams.

"We have had terrific support from the community," Jacinta said.

"People have resonated with the cause either due to personal experience or someone they know.

"They have genuinely been happy to see the group participate in a great cause. Quorn has always been a supportive community."

The team is also proving age is no barrier when it comes to physical exercise.

Ages range from the youngest at 25, to the oldest team member at an impressive 85-years-old.

"A 75-year-old lady who never learnt to swim overcame her fear of placing her head under the water and learning to swim. She initially dog paddled 50 laps a session," Jacinta said,

"Thanks to our local physiotherapist Claire who joined the team and also ran physio led learn to swim sessions, provided her and others with the confidence and extra opportunities to swim laps.

"One of our ladies is 85 and swims 42 laps, four times a week. Another of team members who is 68 swims four kilometres a day and has now exceeded her original goal of 35 kilometres and to date has swam 50 kilometres."

Most of the group has been attending the Quorn swimming pool for many years.

Jacinta said the pool staff have gone the extra mile, volunteering more time to help the team achieve their goals.

"The team has been so supportive of each other. It really has brought us all closer together," she said.

"The comment is regularly made that we are so lucky to have such a great facility in Quorn. To be swimming and watching the sun come up is truly magical."

The Laps for Life challenge finishes on March 31 and donations can be made online via the Quorn Swimmers team page.