Top News

Big Swim across Northumberland Strait set for Aug. 18

Swimmer Emme Morin and kakayer Scott Hennigar arriving in Borden-Carleton at the Big Swim 2018. Photo by Josette McCauley
Swimmer Emme Morin and kakayer Scott Hennigar arriving in Borden-Carleton at the Big Swim 2018. Photo by Josette McCauley - Contributed
BORDEN-CARLETON, P.E.I. —

Swimmers from across the Maritimes are diving into the Northumberland Strait to raise money for charity. 

The ninth annual the Big Swim event is set for Aug. 18. 

The Big Swim hosts up to 50 swimmers, who are teamed up with kayakers to complete the task of swimming from the foot of the Confederation Bridge in Cape Jourimain, N.B. to the beach off Borden-Carelton, P.E.I.  

“Swimmers must pay a fee of $200 to sign up and are committing to raise up to $1,500 for Brigadoon Village. We encouraged them to raise as much money as possible, and give any support we can,” said Tracy Ashley, the events and operations manager of the Big Swim. 

The event is held by Give to Live, an organization raising money for cancer-related charities. 

Brigadoon Village is a camp dedicated to helping children with health issues experience camping and the opportunity to meet kids just like them. 

“It’s a very powerful experience for children, to learn the knowledge they’re not alone. At Brigadoon, they can meet other kids who are facing the same challenges, and it’s a fun week. It’s a magical place,” said Ashley. 

Ashley said the event keeps the cost to minimum and gives most of the funds raised to Brigadoon. 

One aspect of the Big Swim is the precautions they take to ensure the swimmers and kayakers safety during the task. 

“We pair up our swimmers with kayakers, who must have a Level 1 or up certification. We have extra kayakers, several vessels in the water, including the coast guard. Lifeguards will be on the boats, and everyone is connected through radio,” said Ashley. 

Alongside the Big Swim, Give to Live holds annual fundraisers for other cancer-related organizations, The Big Ride and the Big Chill, which both concluded their runs earlier this year. 

Some swimmers are participating to show their support of the fundraiser. 

Dartmouth, N.S., resident Emme Morin,15, was in last year's event and will be returning with her kayaker Scott Hennigar. 

Morin is the second-youngest person to participate in the Big Swim, and the only person to join all three of Give to Live fundraisers.  

Morin was first inspired to join the Big Swim in 2014, when she was 10 years old and participated in the BrigaSwim in Halifax Harbour, another event raising money for Brigadoon Village.  

“A fellow swimmer was going to be in it that year, and I said to my mum ‘I really want to do that.’ She agreed to it, but only when I turned 14. So, last year I went to the information session and I loved everything about it.” 

She swam 10 km last year and raised over $3,100 for Give to Live.  

“I’m blown away be people’s generosity; I’ve raised $2,600 (so far) this year and my goal for this year is to hit $3,000, and I think I can do.” 

Morin and her teammate will be hitting the water once again together, with Morin recalling the moment she and Hennigar decided to re-enter the event. 

“Our motivator (to get) in the water was to go get our favourite ice cream from Cows, the Gooey Mooey, once we’d finished the swim. Later into the day when we went to Cows, he hadn’t even gotten through our ice creams when we decided to go back for this year. Scott and I have really become close friends through this experience. 

The Big Swim is life-changing, said Morin. 

“It’s been an amazing experience, being in all three events. You’re not only changing your life, but so many other lives. It’s why Brigadoon Village is such an extraordinary place.” 

The Big Swim is currently looking for a kayaker to team up with a swimmer and for volunteers for the event. 

For more information, visit: https://www.givetolive.ca/thebigswim/about-the-big-swim/ 

brae.shea@journalpioneer.com 
 

Recent Stories