Annaleise Carr

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Annaleise Carr

Endurance

Swimming – Worlds’ Youngest Athlete to Ever Swim across Lake Ontario (52 km)

My name is Annaleise Rebekah Carr (A.R.C.) and I am a Grade 8 student at Walsh Public School, Walsh, Ontario, just outside Simcoe, Ontario. I am a proud member of the Norfolk Hammerhead Aquatic Club in Simcoe, and of the North Shore Runners/Swimmers in Port Dover, Ontario. I turn 14 years old on March 12 and I plan to become the youngest person to swim across Lake Ontario when I do it this summer! My goal is to do this in order to raise money and awareness for Camp Trillium.

Camp Trillium became close to my heart when I visited last summer as part of the North Shore Swimmers. As a group, ten of us (9 adults and I) completed a 10 km open water swim from Pottahawk Point (located off Long Point in Norfolk County) to Turkey Point, followed by a 10 km run from Turkey Point to the Long Point Eco-Adventure Park. We raised around $15,000 for Camp Trillium, but the visit to the Rainbow Lake facility will forever be etched in my memory. It is an awesome place for awesome people. You see, the camp exists for children with cancer and their families–a sort of haven away from what they are going through–and I don’t like to see kids hurt. I even said to my mom that I’d like to volunteer there as a lifeguard when I get old enough. The people who visit, work, and run this place are incredible! They are loving and I love them for it!

I’ve swam for a long time; competitively since I was 4 years olds as a matter of fact. I’ve swam at long and short course provincials, as well as open water provincials. I’ve competed at provincial lifeguard games as a member of the Town of Tillsonburg Lifesaving Club and in triathlons (which I love). I’m just not that tall! Yea, that’s me in the middle in the picture holding the Canadian flag (another passion of mine). Distance swimming has always been my passion in swimming, however it’s only been the last three or four years that the lake has become my playground. Open Water competition is way quieter than the decks at pool competitions!

I will be swimming across Lake Ontario following the traditional Marilyn Bell route from Niagara-on-the-Lake to Marilyn Bell Park near the CNE in Toronto (considered one of the most difficult open water swims in the world). I’ve been blessed to be able to swim a long way and I want to use that gift to help the kids and their families at Camp Trillium. The fact that the crossing will be a world record will only bring more awareness to the plight of Camp Trillium.

I have such a wonderful support group, starting with my family, but it continues through the people at NHAC, North Shore, the Town of Tillsonburg lifeguards, my church family at Grace Family Bible Fellowship, and so many many more. I’ll try and keep everyone up-to-date on my training as well as the sponsorship and fund raising end of things. Already my coach, Lisa Anderson, has me swimming about 11 to 12 hours a week and doing 3 hours of dry land. I guess it’s a start. I love it!!! More swimming!!!

If you would like to help sponsor my swim, or if you would like to donate to Camp Trillium, the board of the Norfolk Hammerheads are helping me by collecting the money in their name. All you need to do is make cheques out to the Norfolk Hammerheads and designate them to “Annaleise’s Crossing” and mailing them to the swim team. Also, an automatic donation will be set up on the NHAC website. Another way to donate is to go directly to the Camp Trillium web site and and click on “Donate Now”, adding “Annaleise’s Crossing” to the notes section so it can be tracked. You will become part of an incredible world record and also be helping children and their families who are in constant pain and agony from the effects of childhood cancer through this wonderful local charity! What satisfaction that would bring to anyone!

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