Figtree Lions Club and MS Australia hosted the 14th annual Wollongong MS MegaSwim at the University of Wollongong and raised over $20,000 for people diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.

Eighty-two swimmers, across six relay teams, participated in the 24-hour event from noon on Saturday, March 9, to noon on Sunday, March 10.

Figtree Lions Club representative Dave Berry said it was a brilliant and fun weekend for everyone involved.

“At 12 midday we had Alison Byrnes the Federal MP for Cunningham blow the hooter to start the event,” Mr Berry said.

Participants chose to swim from 10 minutes to four hours for their team, with plenty of activities organised to fill the rest of the day.

“We had dressing up events and a barbeque,” Mr Berry said.

“It’s not about who swims the furthest or who swims the fastest, it’s about having fun.”

Local swimmer Charlotte Mettam participated in the event as part of the Rubber Duckies team, made up of her colleagues from Beaton Park Leisure Centre.

“Our colleague, John Cohen organised our team and was there from midday on Saturday til midday on Sunday,” Ms Mettam said.

“He was there the whole time to get in when needed and get out when needed,

“I don’t think he slept.”

Swimmers chose any style of swimming, even paddling, and all levels of ability were on show.

“I swam freestyle pretty much the whole time,” Ms Mettam said.

“I was in the pool for about two or three hours each, hopping in and out to grab lollies when I could.”

The event was considered a success and Mr Berry is hopeful next year two more teams will register and a higher fundraising target will be set.

“All the money goes to MS Australia,” he said.

“MS then allocates funds to what they call ‘gold scholarships.’”

The scholarships are one-off grants provided to eligible applicants with Multiple sclerosis and are awarded annually at a ceremony held in Sydney.

Figtree Lions Club have contributed over $500,000 since 2010 towards the scholarships, which can be worth up to $10,000 each.

Figtree Lion’s Club and MS Australia are still accepting donations via their website.