St Marys Rotarian Peter Genellos will embark on his 30th Bridge to Bridge 3km swim this Saturday morning all in the name of charity.
The 73-year-old grandfather will pull on his ‘budgy smugglers’ and dive into the water at the Sydney International Regatta Centre, to raise money for Little Wings for the third consecutive year.
Little Wings is a charity dedicated to assisting children with cancer travel to their medical treatments.
Speaking with the Weekender, the Lower Blue Mountains resident hopes to raise $30,000 for Little Wings.
“$30,000 is a modest amount and equates to $1000 for every year I’ve swam the Bridge to Bridge,” he said.
“Little Wings do a very good job in flying sick kids and their family from the state’s far west to Westmead for treatment.
“They pick them up, fly them to Bankstown Airport and take them to the hospital – it’s all run by volunteers.”
Over the past 29 years Genellos has raised more than $125,000 for various charities through St Marys Rotary Club including The Children’s Hospital and Nepean Hospital.
Genellos said sparing whatever you can to help Little Wings will make a huge difference to many.
“The problem is there is more patients than planes,” he admitted.
“The more money that can be raised, the more chance there is of getting another plane to service more kids.
“They need a lot of funds to keep the charity rolling.”
Genellos has been training for tomorrow’s swim for many months, including daily dips at Glenbrook Pool. He said swimming is in his DNA.
“I’ve always been a swimmer since I was at school – I haven’t stopped,” Genellos said.
“I swam for 20 years at Penrith Pool plus another 20 years at Ripples in St Marys.
“These days I train at Glenbrook five days a week, often doing 1500m each day.”
Wet, hot and sticky conditions are expected to greet Genellos and his fellow competitors at the event tomorrow.
Registration for tomorrow’s event at the Regatta Centre is from 8.30am with a race briefing at 9.45am. The race gets underway at 10am.
To help Genellos reach his fundraising goal of $30,000, donate at www.goodcompany.com.au/fundraising/Peter-Genellos-30th-Bridge-to-Bridge-Swim.
Nathan Taylor is the Weekender’s Deputy Editor and Senior Sports Writer. He also compiles the weekly Chatter on the Box TV column. Nathan is an award-winning journalist, who has worked at the Weekender for nearly a decade.