2020 Ocean Pool Challenge (Bushfire Fundraiser)

20 OCEAN POOLS   X   20 LAPS   X   1 DAY

We are Cris and Eve, two self-confessed water babies and ocean lovers! While we're not Australian, we're both lucky enough to call this beautiful country home and have only ever been made to feel welcome here. After seeing the destruction and pain caused by the recent bushfires we've decided to do our bit to help in the most Aussie way we know how - with a water-themed fitness challenge!

On Tuesday 28th January we will be swimming 20 laps in 20 ocean pools around Sydney, in just 1 day! That's 400 laps, or 15km, to squeeze in between sunrise and sunset... and we've got to drive between them, it's going to be organised chaos!

We are swimming in an attempt to raise money for a swimming coach friend, Stephen Alderman, his wife, two sons and their local community who have all been affected by the bushfires. Stephen's family have lost their entire house and family business. We've shared their full story below.


"On NYE 2019 our home of 10 years was obliterated in the firestorm that took Conjola Park.  We moved to Conjola Park to have a life of sun, surf and tranquility for ourselves and our two little boys, now 8 and 12 years old.  On the morning of NYE the firestorm whipped up so fast with no warning and no emergency services to help us understand what was happening around us.  We had to make split decisions to find a way out as we were being engulfed with fire. Justine and the boys were forced to drive through fire, and were stranded in a burnt out area of the Princes Highway before being escorted by a Fire Fighter to the Sussex Inlet turnoff.  It was here they were then met with a roadside spot fire that turned into a fireball and forced them to drive into Sussex Inlet where the fire jumped the highway and chased them up the Sussex Inlet Rd.  After spending a night at the Evacuation Centre with no power, no internet and no mobile reception I was left with no choice but to obtain a boat and go and rescue them from the canal of Sussex Inlet"



Conjola Park is, was and always will be the family's little oasis and they intend to rebuild life there, with the funds being spread across their passions and areas of immediate concern:
1. Stimulate the local economy - we need to help local businesses continue to operate, including Justine's own business which, like many fellow small businesses in Conjola, have experienced crushing financial losses since the fires took hold of the Milton Ulladulla District during peak tourist season. 
2. Mental Health Programs for Justine and the boys to help process the trauma they experienced during their escape on NYE - a day from hell for any parent, and something no child should ever have to go through.
3. Wildlife Services - the rehabilitation of hundreds if not thousands of sick, injured and displaced wildlife in Conjola Park. These mostly volunteer services provide water, safe drinking vessels, food and shelter for the incredibly diverse wildlife whose whole welfare existed in the bush lands of Conjola Park and whose survival and future safety now hinge on volunteer support.
4. Rebuild the family home - Stephen and his family have never had to go through a rebuild, so they will be using remaining funds to help with this enormous project, with sincere gratitude.


The headlines may have moved on, but for families and communities like Stephen's the hard work is just beginning as they start to pick up the pieces and rebuild their lives. It is a monumental task. Please dive deep and give what you can, every drop in the ocean counts!

We will be visiting Stephen's family and their community in the weeks and months following our challenge, to show our continued support and to share with you the direct impact of your generous donations. 

In addition to raising money, we really hope that the 2020 Challenge can bring people together. We believe in the power of salt water to heal and connect, and we think Australia (and the world) needs this now more than ever!

For anyone in Sydney, we would love for you to join us for a few laps in one of the 20 pools on our route. Route and timings are below, and you'll be able to follow our progress live on Instagram on the day! (@crisditraglia, @beingeve_)

What we'd really like most of all is for the challenge to bring everyone together, as a community, at the end of the day for a small gathering and celebration. For Cris, Eve and Stephen, the pool has always been a special place where we have made lots of friends (including each other!) and one of the best things about these ocean pools is the sense of community they create. So after 400 laps we'll be arriving at the North Bondi Children's Pool, target time is (hopefully!) 8pm. BYOB, come show your support and make some new friends!



On behalf of Stephen, his family, his local community, and from us - a massive thank you for all your generosity and support! A special thank you also to Jolyn Clothing for gifting us the swimwear that will get us through the day!

"Individually we are one drop, together we are an ocean"

Cris & Eve

Follow our progress on Instagram:


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  • Didi S. Gilson 
    • $20 
    • 7 mos
  • Anthony Dias 
    • $75 
    • 7 mos
  • Karien Bogaerts 
    • $40 
    • 7 mos
  • Stefania Loreti 
    • $20 
    • 7 mos
  • Michelle Leung 
    • $50 
    • 7 mos
See all

Fundraising team (3)

Eve Baker 
Bondi Beach, NSW
Stephen Alderman 
Cristina Di Traglia 
Team member
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