Piako Post

Around-the-sun swim for a cause

- CHLOE BLOMMERDE

The sun came up on Thursday and Jordan Rogers had one thing on her mind: a 24-hour swim.

The 19-year-old wanted to raise money for mental health – something she personally struggled with – but there was only one way she knew how. Swimming.

After two months of training, Rogers embarked on her aroundthe-sun swim at Swim Zone Morrinsvil­le at 10am on Thursday.

‘‘I swam for four hours and took 15-minute breaks, but I soon realised I needed more rest time otherwise I wasn’t going to make it to the end,’’ Rogers told Stuff after her swim.

‘‘I knew it would be hard, but I underestim­ated how long an hour would be.’’

Rogers’ main sources of energy were sports gels, electrolyt­e drinks and water.

However, 15 hours in the young swimmer hit a wall.

‘‘Around 1am I started to get really, really cold. I couldn’t warm myself up and I was pretty buggered by this point, physically and mentally.’’

Rogers had a quick nap, had some rice and tuna and got back into the pool.

Knowing a group was coming in at 4am to support her, Rogers said this – alongside the fact she had raised all this money for mental health – was what kept her going to the end.

‘‘The best part about it all was all the people who came along to support me, my brother swam with me – and local swimming clubs, too.’’

The money raised from the swim will go directly to Voices of Hope, a not-for-profit mental health organisati­on, and donations can be made through the GiveaLittl­e page, by searching for ‘‘24-hour swim fundraiser for mental health’’.

Rogers’ first swimming lesson was when she was just 9 months old and she has been swimming competitiv­ely for 10 years.

She faced her own mental health challenges as she got older and Covid-19 didn’t help either – she couldn’t train with her friends, or swim at her local swimming pool and when 2021 arrived, Rogers faced some health issues that meant she couldn’t swim at all, even when the pools had reopened. Then she had to decide whether she should study at university and swim, or study at university and focus on her mental health.

She chose the latter, but somehow Rogers managed to merge it all together.

‘‘So many people said they experience­d challenges with their mental health, too. It was wholesome and heartwarmi­ng, people generally care.

‘‘I felt supported by so many people who had a real reason to support the cause.’’

Rogers has just completed her first year at the University of Otago, studying psychology and says she’s in a better place now.

Bar being understand­ably ‘‘really tired’’.

 ?? ?? Jordan Rogers embarked on a 24-hour swim to raise money for mental health.
Rogers has been swimming for as long as she can remember.
Jordan Rogers embarked on a 24-hour swim to raise money for mental health. Rogers has been swimming for as long as she can remember.

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