By Pam Kiriakidis

One kilometre each day is the distance Reedy Creek resident Andrew McDonald is dedicating to the annual Starlight Foundation Swim at Seymour Leisure Centre this month.

The Starlight Foundation swim challenge is a yearly fundraiser where participants across Australia swim solo or as a team to raise money for sick children throughout the month of February.

After viewing the charity’s advertisement on television, Mr McDonald decided to participate in the activity he said was ‘nothing out of the ordinary’ for his schedule.

He said when growing up in Melbourne, he took up surfing as a teenager.

“It would be a two-hour trip one way to [go] surfing so in between that I took up swimming to help with my surfing. So I’ve been swimming all my life,” he said.

“Wherever I’ve lived [during the past 60 years], I’ve always surfed down the west coast all the way from Barwon Heads down to the Twelve Apostles.

“The only thing I am doing [now] is vamping the number of times I’m going to swim.”

Andrew McDonald is swimming one kilometre each day for the annual Starlight Foundation Swim at Seymour Leisure Centre this month.

Mr McDonald said he nominated to swim 14 kilometres at Seymour Sports and Aquatic Centre with a goal of raising $300.

In the lead-up to the weekly swims, Mr McDonald managed to raise more than $1200 through the support of his family and friends.

“People say to me ‘oh you’re doing a great job Andrew’, and I said I’m not doing anything, you guys are the ones donating the money, you need to take a bow yourself,” he said.

“It shows that people out there are willing to donate to charity … people are willing to help each other.”

Mr McDonald said while the activity was part of his daily life, the charity opened his eyes to people who had real life experiences.

“You start speaking to people when you’re doing something, and all of the sudden you start finding out about people who actually had that experience,” he said.

“[The Starlight Foundation] is there to raise [money], to support families and children going through the suffering and trying to make a little bit of normality with their lives while they’re in hospital.”

Mr McDonald said he was keen to test himself for the fundraiser.

“If I decide I’m feeling really good in the last week … I might see if I can stretch it out to one-and-a-half kilometres,” he said.

To donate to Mr McDonald’s swim for Starlight Foundation, visit superswim.org.au/andrew-mc-donald.