SWIM THRU A FAM­ILY AF­FAIR

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Front Page - By ROSANNA CAN­DLER

EX­ACTLY 100 years after their beloved great-un­cle Ned won the Swim Thru Perth, cousins Jean­nie John­son (69) and Frank Maloney (61) will tackle the iconic Swan River race this Sun­day.

John­son said com­mem­o­rat­ing their great-un­cle’s 1915 achieve­ment was even more fit­ting be­cause funds raised would be do­nated to the WA Dis­abled Sports As­so­ci­a­tion.

“Ned had po­lio as a child and never walked from two years old,” she said.

“The story goes that he went down the Bar­rack Street jetty, handed over his crutches and into the wa­ter he went.

“He had no power in his legs, just very, very strong in the up­per body and an amaz­ing swimmer.”

Hosted by Clare­mont Masters Swimming Club, the Swim Thru Perth is Aus­tralia’s long­est-run­ning open­wa­ter swim, with com­peti­tors swimming the sin­gles 4km, 1.6km or 1.6km team events.

Maloney said he was very proud to do what his great-un­cle did a cen­tury after his win.

“I’ll also be bring­ing along his win­ning trophy for com­peti­tors to ad­mire on the day,” he said.

“My mum had it for years on her man­tel­piece and a few years back she said, ‘Look, you’ve al­ways loved the trophy, I think you’d bet­ter take it’.”

Although the cousins com­pete, vol­un­teer and of­fi­ci­ate in masters swimming, John­son said she had stepped up her train­ing for the event.

“I’m the lazi­est per­son in our swimming club, so I have ac­tu­ally been swimming twice a week,” she said. “We’re do­ing this for a bit of fun and for old Un­cle Ned.”

Pic­ture: Mar­cus Whisson

For old Un­cle Ned: Cousins Jean­nie John­son and Frank Maloney with the Perth Swim Thru trophy their great-un­cle won in 1915.

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