Ous Goes To 007Courtesy of Lascelles Clarke, James Bond Beach, Oracabessa, Jamaica.
The Lifespan 007 Open Water Swim started because of the efforts of Virginia McConnell, an American from Idaho who worked as a Youth & Sports Advisor for the Peace Corps in Jamaica.
McConnell organized sports leagues for elementary school students in the Oracabessa area on Jamaica’s northern coast, obtained grant funding for local foundations, and left an open water swimming legacy when she launched the 007 Open Water Swim Race, a charity open water swim for the Oracabessa Foundation, in 2013.
She worked hard and created the logo, made donation packets, reached out to the local media, organized 25 volunteers on race day to ensure the safety of the race, and obtained over US$600 worth of prize donations from local businesses.
McConnell left Jamaica after starting the 007 race and Nigel Bair, Allan Marsh and Carol Cuffley continued developing the race under its new name, Lifespan 007 Open Water Swim Festival. Bair explains, “We wanted to develop long distance swimming in Jamaica as most of our past Olympians are good at short distances. This event is done in association with the Amateur Swimming Association of Jamaica and other sponsors.
The event has 1 km, 2 km and 5 km swims and will feature double Olympic champion Ous Mellouli. The community-driven event is geared to our tourism industry as we attract tourists from abroad to Jamaica and our event. The event is endorsed by our Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association and Jamaica Tourist Board. We are committed to the event which will be moved to other tourism areas in Jamaica in order to foster community development throughout our country.”
The event is scheduled for September 29th at the James Bond Beach in Oracabessa St Mary.
To register and for additional information, visit www.lifespan007openwaterswim.com.
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