Rainbow Club Australia’s popular Malabar Magic ocean swim will return in 2013 for the first time without former patron, Olympic swimming legend Murray Rose, who sadly passed away last year.

As a tribute to Rose, the swim has been renamed Murray Rose’s Malabar Magic Ocean Swim.

Rose had held the position of patron of the Rainbow Club Australia, a charity that teaches young people with disabilities to swim and find their independence through recreational activities, for over 10 years before his passing in April last year.

The swim, to be held on February 17th, is an increasing popular charity swim for the Rainbow Club Australia started in 2009. By its third year, it has grown to over 800 participants. Alexandra Finley, President of Rainbow Club Australia, said, “Murray was a passionate and respected member of Australia’s swim community who did so much for our organisation and for the swim. This is our first year without him and although his presence will be sorely missed, we want to take the opportunity to celebrate his contributions to Rainbow Club and especially the swim over the years. A memorial for Rose will be held immediately after the swim.”

Murray Rose’s widow, Jodi Rose, acknowledged Murray would have been proud to see the swim and support for Rainbow Club continue to thrive. “The fact that this swim is a community-based event run by volunteers meant a great deal to Murray. In his later years he was so happy to be part of the ocean swim community. This unique culture, and the camaraderie filled a wonderful part of his life. It was only natural he was driven to develop this event for The Rainbow Club of Australia. Murray was adamant that every dollar of your entry goes directly to funding a disabled child in the Rainbow Club program. There is no doubt Murray’s presence here will be felt now and in the future.”

Paralympic gold medallist Louise Sauvage and Mark Speakman, Member for Cronulla NSW, both Patrons for Rainbow Club, will join in the 2013 swim. Blind marathon swimmer James Pittar, a member of the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame, continues as the club’s Ambassador and a great inspiration for those associated with the charity.

This year, Rainbow Club Australia has partnered with Andre Slade of OceanFit to develop training tip videos and training programs to assist newbies taking part in the swim for the first time. “I’ve long admired the great work the Rainbow Club does for these kids, and Murray Rose’s Malabar Magic is one of the best swims Sydney has to offer. It’s great to be working with these guys to help raise awareness and funds so more kids with disabilities will get the chance to learn to swim.”

David Southon, Joint Managing Director of Charter Hall, the swim’s main sponsor, described the work being done behind the scenes, “Lives have changed all over New South Wales thanks to the great work of the Rainbow Club. We’ve seen this important fund-raising event grow in popularity year on year and we’re very pleased to be able to continue to support the cause.”

Rainbow Club Australia has been providing children with special needs the opportunity to explore and extend their abilities through sporting and recreational activities for over 40 years. Rainbow Club facilitates swimming lessons for children with disabilities, supporting 18 local clubs that meet on a weekly basis.

For more information, visit www.rainbowclubaust.com.au.

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