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24 February 2021
By Dean Lawson
Prominent Wimmera sportsman Sam Anson, 30, is unsure of how well he will perform in a challenge he has set himself to raise community awareness about mental-health issues.
But the Natimuk United footballer and former coach is determined to push ahead with plans tomorrow to swim 50 kilometres in 20 hours – in the Wimmera River in Horsham.
Mr Anson enjoys setting himself physical challenges, regardless of how much preparation he has put into his projects. Last year, for example, he set himself a goal of completing an ultra-marathon run from Horsham to Portland in 30 hours. He did it 29 hours and 26 minutes.
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But this time he will venture into the unfamiliar territory of swimming, where he hopes to complete a course from Wimmera River Bridge to Horsham weir 16.6 times.
“I’m a bit worried with what I’ve set myself to do. I don’t really classify myself as a swimmer – I generally dislike swimming,” he said.
“I’ve been swimming a little bit every day and had some practice runs, although after I did a lap of the swim I seriously questioned myself.
“I understand about running and riding from doing an ironman circuit in Horsham, but swimming? You’re in your own head the whole time and there is no escape. But I’m taking it on regardless and I’m excited with the challenge.
“The idea is about being able to do something that might seem impossible.”
Mr Anson is taking on the course on behalf of Australian mental-health and wellbeing support organisation Beyond Blue.
He said he really only wanted to raise community awareness of the impact of mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety, but had decided to also use the opportunity to raise money for the cause.
“I set myself a goal of raising $1000 through a gofundme page and generated the money in only a couple of days, which was amazing,” he said.
“I’ve had personal experience with mental-
health issues and have friends who have suffered.
“It is something I think people can overcome if they really want to and if they have support and can see it is possible.”
People can financially support Mr Anson’s money-raising efforts by visiting website gofund
me.com, searching for his 50kms Upstream site and making a donation.
The entire February 24, 2021 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!
The entire February 24, 2021 edition of AgLife is available online. READ IT HERE!