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Swim For Malaria will be launched in NZ

4 October 2005

The World Swim For Malaria will be launched in New Zealand today by Jonah Lomu, and swimming stars Hannah McLean and Dean Kent.

World Swim For Malaria is aiming to be the largest swimming event in the world, raising money for the fight against malaria. The objective is to have 1 million people swimming all around the world on 3 December 2005.

Malaria is the world’s single largest killer of children around the world – one child dies from the disease every 30 seconds. The number of children that die from malaria each day would fill seven jumbo jets, yet the disease is preventable and treatable.

There are already more than 250,000 people from more than 100 countries taking part in World Swim For Malaria. Many sports stars are supporting the initiative including Australian swimming stars Grant Hackett and Michael Klim.

Speaking at today’s New Zealand launch, Jonah Lomu said World Swim For Malaria was a bid to save millions of young people’s lives.

“Good health is something I will never take for granted again. It’s so easy to prevent malaria and save a life - so that’s why I’m right behind this event. My hope is that 10,000 New Zealanders will join us and show their support for World Swim For Malaria. Every dollar raised will go to buying a mosquito net which will prevent malaria. It doesn’t take much to help save a life.”

New Zealand swimmers Hannah McLean and Dean Kent are also supporting the World Swim For Malaria campaign. Hannah McLean said the NZ swim team would be playing their part and would be swimming thousands of kilometres. “As a team we are planning to swim the length of Africa to raise money for what we see as a fantastic cause.”

New Zealanders willing to take part can join the thousands of other schools, swimming clubs, groups of friends, elite athletes and grassroots swimmers from all over the world who want to make a difference.

Global partners of World Swim For Malaria include PricewaterhouseCoopers, Microsoft, and Speedo. Each has committed generous pro bono support and aims to have 5,000 staff, family and friends taking part in the Swim around the world.

World Swim For Malaria is aimed at all swimmers - if you can swim then you can take part. There is no fixed number of people that must be involved in an individual swim, or fixed distance you have to swim or minimum amount of money you have to raise. If you cannot swim on 3 December, you can swim on a different day instead.

It is about participation. If we swim, we save lives. If we don’t swim, we don’t save lives. Let’s swim.

ENDS

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