The 3rd annual Charlottesville Swimathon will be held on Saturday at the Fairview Swim & Tennis Club. The event, organized each year by students taking the Project Management class in the McIntire School of Commerce, brings together kids from local Charlottesville and Crozet schools to raise money for the UVa Children’s Hospital.
The participating kids raise money from family and friends by pledging to swim 10, 20, or 30 laps depending on the age group they fall into. Additionally, the University of Virginia swim team will be there signing autographs, leading stretches, helping with technique, and encouraging the swimmers while they complete their laps. The kids will have the opportunity to meet and talk to accomplished swimmers such as Olympic gold medalist Leah Smith.
This event has been organized through the Project Management class since its inauguration and every year a group of students is given $500 to go towards planning it. This year, students Katie Miller, Caroline Barton, Zach Reuss, Kaan Karakas, and Srujana partnered with the VA Gators, a Charlottesville swim team, as well as other teams to organize the swimathon. Along with a corporate sponsorship from Merkle|RKG, they have gathered many donations from local businesses including gift cards, fitness packages, and food prizes that will be raffled off during the event to raise even more for the cause.
Swimathon organizer and U.Va swim team member Katie Miller is looking forward to continuing the tradition and giving back to the community.
“Since we have this great platform with the athletics community, and all of these resources we can tap into, it’s a good way to give back since the university gives us so much,” Miller said. “Especially coming off an Olympic year, there are so many kids excited about swimming which doesn’t always happen since popular sports like basketball and football usually get a lot of the attention.”
While this is not an event that people can go watch and participate in, anyone who would like to help can do so by donating at swimathoncville2016.splashthat.com. The event raised over $5,800 last year for the Children’s Hospital and is hoping to surpass that amount this year.