Organising and participating in a twenty-four-hour “Mega Swim” would be enough to exhaust most people but Year 11 student, Lillian Havansky, is still bubbly at its conclusion. Lillian, who has a passion for community outreach, organised the event at her swimming club and, last week, the team’s donations, raised for people living with multiple sclerosis, passed the $9,000 mark.
It is the second time Lillian has participated in the MS Mega Challenge.
“I wanted to organise the event because I knew it was for a good cause,” Lillian said.
“With the support of my parents and coaches, I signed up fourteen swimmers from my club, some of whom had participated in the event with me in 2019. When they heard about my fundraising, some of my schoolfriends told me they had family members living with MS and it felt good to be able to do something that would make a difference to people in my community.”
The Mega Swim has been held annually by MS Australia since 2001 and invites members of the public to sponsor participants to attempt the challenging relay.
“I organised a roster that would allow us to swim in thirty-minute intervals from 12:00pm Saturday to 12:00pm Sunday,” Lillian said.
“That meant everyone did three sets of thirty minutes, with me and two other swimmers doing an extra set each to get us across the finish line. All up, we swam 102.57 kilometres, a new record for our club!”
Lillian said it takes a village for events like these it be successful.
“In addition to the swimmers, we had a whole team of parents on board. Some, including my parents, stayed overnight with us at Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre to supervise and others donated food to keep us fuelled – and there was no shortage of food!” Lillian said.
Lillian is no stranger to fundraising. In the week leading up to the Mega Swim, she and her fellow Warwick House Officers held their House Service Week at Meriden during which they raised funds and awareness for the Yellow Diamond Foundation which supports brain cancer research.
A hardworking and kind member of the School community, Lillian has been recognised as one of the Trinity Grammar School Army Cadet Unit’s most senior members. She recently received the Cadet program’s penultimate honour, the National Adventure Training Award which recognises recipients’ decision-making, observation and leadership skills.
“At Meriden, we have so many great examples of women in leadership roles and seeing them really inspires me to step up and make an impact on the world,” Lillian said.
“Being a leader is not just about having an official position; we can all make a difference when we look out for others in our day-to-day lives.”