Splashing, Dashing And Raising Funds For WAYSBondi Rescue star Andrew ‘Reidy’ Reid has vowed to bring the fun back to the beach in launching the inaugural Bondi Splash N’ Dash.
The event, to be held on Saturday, November 22, is designed to cater for a variety of skill and endurance levels. While an array of exceptionally talented athletes are lined up to take part, anyone aged over 14 can enter and no equipment is required.
“I want to bring a really fun community event back to the beach,” Reidy said. “I think that the market’s flooded with a lot of ocean swims and I think that they can be a little bit boring.
“They go in the water, they swim and they’re out, whereas I really want to bring a full day and a fun event to the community that everyone can be involved with.”
The event is aiming to raise $5,000 for the Waverley Action For Youth Services (WAYS) Centre. Built in 1992, the WAYS Centre on Wairoa Avenue in Bondi has grown to include a school with more than 24 students who have left the mainstream system, but it has received little investment or upkeep.
“When I was a kid, I was a bit of an overweight teenager and bullying sort of came along with it,” Reidy said. “Places like the youth centre are refuges where kids can go when things aren’t going good at home or they’re not getting along with their parents or mates.
“There’s friendly smiling face at the WAYS Centre. The crew do such a good job; they’ve got pool tables, televisions and basketball courts on the roof. You can go there and be active; you don’t have to worry about your Facebooks and your Instagrams.
“It’s something that I’ve always wanted to give back to. I’ve always wanted to do a run, swim, run event and I’ve always wanted to give back to the youth centre, so it’s a no brainer for me. I’m working my arse off on these things just to make it a really great day.”
The day kicks off with the novelty ‘Duck Dash’ event, in which contestants will have to run 400 metres while wearing flippers, before blowing up an inflatable duck and swimming out around a can. This will be followed by age groups, teams, then elite sportspeople. A total prize purse of $4,000 is up for grabs.
“I think the novelty race is going to be absolutely hilarious, and that’s for people who don’t really want to do the full event and don’t take themselves too seriously,” Reidy said.
“It’s going to be like a 400-metre run on the soft sand. There are going to be people falling over and it’s going to be pretty funny. Once they get to the end of the run, they’re going to have to blow up their own inflatable duck.
“Then you’ve got the Bondi Splash N’ Dash, which is a one-kilometre run on the iconic sands of Bondi from one end of the beach to the other, followed by a swim across the bay, and then another run back to North Bondi where all the crew and friends and family will be.”
“We’ll have some celebrities getting involved in the teams events, and after that we’ve got the big guns. We’ve got some of the best athletes in the country coming; we’ve got Courtney Atkinson, Brendan Sexton, Sam Appleton and some unbelievable multisports athletes.”
The festivities will kick on late into the afternoon with the North Bondi RSL hosting a post dash bash and presentation, along with a special three-set appearance by Chris Sebastian, the brother of Guy and one of the stars of the first season of The Voice.
“I’m tying in the after party with it,” Reidy said. “If you’ve ever heard Chris Sebastian live, he is unbelievable.
“I dare say it’s going to rock the Rathouse. When I was in my early 20s, the Rathouse was the place to be and I’d really love to bring that back again. How good will it be? It’s going to pump.”
Registrations are now open at www.bondisplashndash.com.au.