Fitness
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Taking on the Big Swim

Helping those who help others.

On August 4, a group of people will swim from New Brunswick, into the Northumberland Strait and emerge on the shores of Prince Edward Island seven hours and fourteen kilometers later. 

The Big Swim is an event organized by GIVE TO LIVE, a volunteer organization dedicated to ending illness and disease by inspiring people to lead healthy lives through exercise, altruism and achievement.

This year’s event is in support of two causes – the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and Brigadoon Village – that touch many lives, locally and internationally. 

Each participant has reasons for making this event a part of our own story. I’ve chosen Brigadoon Village, a non-profit recreational facility on Aylesford Lake in the Annapolis Valley that was established to give children and families memories to last a lifetime. It delivers camp programming to children, youth and families living with chronic illnesses, conditions or special needs across the Maritimes. 

I am a husband and father of two wonderful children, working in Halifax as a detective with Halifax Regional Police. Before I became a police officer, I was lucky enough to have experienced camp as a camper and a counselor. Working as a police officer for over ten years, I’ve known hundreds of children who will never have the chance to paddle a canoe, sit by a campfire or create lifelong friendships: Some of life’s simplest pleasures are out of reach forchildren who need it most. 

These are the reasons that Brigadoon Village has always had a special place in my heart. One worth standing behind and beside in the days, months and years to come. 

Brigadoon Village offers swimming, snowshoeing, hiking, fishing and much more, but what this camp really does is bring children and families together. A child battling cancer will meet children just like him or her from the Maritimes and may realize that they are not alone. Finding inspiration in others and discovering a network of support will mean as much after their experience as the memories they make. 

Over the coming months, each swimmer will be taking time from their own lives and families to train. For me, this is a small sacrifice when I think of who we will be swimming for. As a team, and as an individual swimmers, we’ve been lucky to have the support of friends at Gearguy.ca, who have provided support in more ways than I can name. We’ve also received support from Xterra Wetsuits, who believe in our cause. Most of all we’ve received tremendous support from our community, friends, family and strangers alike who have found a shared purpose in this endeavour. 

Big Swim participants will be asking for help in many forms. We have a financial team goal but each swimmer will be responsible for reaching out to their own communities to raise funds and awareness. Whether you choose to participate, sponsor a swimmer or to cheer from afar, the Big Swim participants thank you for your support and for taking the time to think of others. 

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Help Tyler with his fundraising <www.canadahelps.org/gp/23973>.

Learn more about our great cause at <givetolive.ca>. 

Find more information on the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation <cysticfibrosis.ca> and Brigadoon Village <brigadoonvillage.org>. 

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Uploaded by Chris Surette