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5 women swimming 90K across Last Mountain Lake to raise funds for Regina’s YWCA

Five women are swimming 90 kilometres in Last Mountain Lake to raise money for the YWCA in Regina. Courtesy / Kelsey van Dyke

Five women are swimming across Saskatchewan’s Last Mountain Lake as part of a fundraiser for the YWCA in Regina.

Last Mountain Marathon is a 90-km swim expected to take about 30-40 hours to complete that began on July 15.

“These young women approached us.  They were swimmers and had that experience and knew what we do at the YWCA and the impact that we have,” said Melissa Coomber-Bendtsen, CEO YWCA Regina.

Courtesy / Kelsey van Dyke. Courtesy /

“They thought it was a great connection between what they were doing as women, this very challenging thing, and what we do in terms of supporting vulnerable women and children in our community.”

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Read more: Coronavirus: YWCA Regina shelters and essential services remain fully accessible

Coomber-Bendtsen said the fundraiser is part of its annual Say Yes campaign to raise money to help keep its services going.

“These women took pledges and are still taking pledges to help support the Say Yes campaign,” Coomber-Bendtsen said.

“Specifically, the funds ensure our outreach team, which is really our boots-on-the-ground team that work with women in our homeless shelters and our domestic violence shelters, are able to help rehouse and find support for those in the system.”

The event is being done under Marathon Swimming Federation rules, meaning each of the five swimmers will swim in rotating one-hour blocks until the swim is complete.

Swimmers are not allowed to wear wet suits or other swimming aids. They are not allowed to touch any safety vessels while in the water, as per MSF rules.

Read more: New immigrant volunteers at Regina YWCA to protect vulnerable staff amid COVID-19

An independent observer will be on board the boat that drives besides them to make sure swimmers are complying with the rules.

The swimmers are Dionne Tatlow, Nichole Robinson, Kelsey van Dyke, Adrien van Dyke and Meghan Chisholm.

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All participants are experienced swimmers.

“I can’t even imagine, not just the physical challenge of something like this, but the mental challenge of it,” Coomber-Bendtsen said.

The goal is to raise $5,000. At the time of this article, swimmers had already raised $4,000.

Global News was unable to speak with any of the swimmers prior to the event, but will do so once the marathon is finished which is expected to be sometime tomorrow.

Click to play video 'New immigrant volunteers at Regina YWCA to protect vulnerable staff amid COVID-19' New immigrant volunteers at Regina YWCA to protect vulnerable staff amid COVID-19
New immigrant volunteers at Regina YWCA to protect vulnerable staff amid COVID-19 – Apr 26, 2020

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