How did this event come about and what does it mean to you?
In May, 2014, a dear swimming friend’s 3 year old daughter was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia. As soon as he shared the news, I asked him what it was that I could do to help and his response was ‘if you can keep me swimming once a week to help keep my mind healthy, that’d really, help’.
Getting in the pool was easy; I knew we could do this. But I felt there was more we could do. So along with my friend and others from the close knit swimming community we decided to hold an event to raise awareness and funds for the Leukaemia Foundation- and so the Euroz North Cottesloe Cold Water Classic was born.
Tell us a bit about yourself and life in the water?
Swimming has always been a part of my life. Both my parents were swimmers and made sure my sisters and I were water babies, throwing us into the backyard pool before we could walk.
As a teenager I competed for 5 years in National Championships but it wasn’t until I took a break from competitive pool swimming and competed in the ‘Swim Thru Rottnest’ that I excelled and really felt a connection to open water swimming.
Since then I have competed in many Rottnest Swim teams’, duos’, solos’, the English Channel, Manhattan Swim and back then as part of my training for Manhattan I managed a triple Rottnest crossing, I knew deep down my body could go the distance so to me this appeared to be more of a mental challenge, surviving the open water and what lies beneath..
What a huge achievement! A triple crossing sounds like an extreme physical and mental challenge. How do you find balance during training, competitions and ultimately every day?
Your overall health is so important, both physically and mentally. I truly believe what you put into your body leads to your health. So by eating good food, surrounding yourself with supportive people such as family, good friends and keeping active, is all I need to find my balance.
How did you feel when you reached the finish line? Did that extreme level of endurance come with an equal factor of happiness and accomplishment?
Yes, I was ecstatic. My body really was pushed to its boundaries, I was physically exhausted but emotionally I was beyond happy and just wanted to share the experience with my family and friends who had supported me through the event.
What is your favourite virtue?
Courage. I admire people who are courageous, brave and tackle anything that life throws them. The Euroz North Cottesloe Cold Water Classic was created for one courageous little girl and I know she will come out of this even stronger.
What are your chief characteristics?
I guess the word bubbly keeps coming up.
What do you appreciate most in your friends?
Their support, whether it’s been financial through fundraising to help me get to my next competition, cheering me on, on the sidelines or the simple gesture of a phone call or text.
What is your main fault?
I can’t say no!
What’s your favourite occupation?
I love what I do; being a swimming coach and a personal trainer. I wouldn’t change it for the world, but then I’d love to be a doctor or a surgeon, doing something that could actually change or save peoples lives would be pretty special.
What’s your idea of happiness?
Being able to swim every day in exotic places around the world.
What is it about swimming that you love?
I find I get so much from swimming, if I want to relax and clear my head I go for a swim. Or if I want to hang out with my friends, I can head down to the pool. Or if I want to push myself, conquer something new and try something that no one has ever done before; I know that swimming is something that can take me there.
Where would you like to live?
Perth, I will always happily live in Perth. It really is the best place on earth; Yallingup is also very special, coastal living is key to me.
What’s your favourite food and drink?
Green juices, red wine, hot chips and I love my greens. Crave them! All about balance.
What’s your favourite Pressed Earth juice?
Cacao nuts. I tried to make it at home but couldn’t quite get it right!
What’s one of your favourite names?
Raff (short for Rafael)
With regard next week’s swim, is there anything you’d like to tell the fence sitters?
The great thing about this swim is that entrants can choose to wear a wetsuit and flippers if they’d like to feel a little more comfortable in the ocean. There will be loads of people in the water, a tonne of boats, skis, boards and helicopter patrol to make sure for a safe and fun event.
Pressed Earth is so grateful to have had to the opportunity to speak with Ceinwen and to be involved in the Classic. We’ll be down there swimming and then serving up delicious cold pressed juice. So we hope you can take a page out of Ceinwens book as she’s definitely doing something right. Summer is on our doorstep so whip out the budgies and get involved.
Thank you Ceinwen!
(To register for the Swim or to donate to the Leukaemia Foundation click here)