5 swimmers battle Lake Ontario waters to support Because I am a Girl!

Most of us are happy to wade in the water at the beach but few of us are really ready to take the plunge. This summer, five Because I am a Girl supporters took part in an epic journey to support girls rights around the world.

Nicole Mallette, 47, Colleen Shields, 61, Samantha Whiteside, 23, Rebekah Boscariol, 19, and Mona Sharari, 18, all stood up to the challenge of crossing the vast lake. As experienced swimmers, not one member of the group shied away from this amazing opportunity. An even easier decision was made to support Because I am a Girl, as Nicole explains.

“We are all strong individual women who have been given the opportunity to take on challenges and passions for what we love to do. We realize many young girls do not have that opportunity or support, so with our passion for swimming and our commitment to empowering young ladies everywhere, it was a no-brainer!”

And so the journey begins!

It was early in the morning on July 23 when the five swimmers from the Because Girls Can swim team dove into Lake Ontario in Kingston to undertake a record-breaking feat: swim more than 300km across the length of the lake. To finish would make them the first ever swimmers to complete the journey – all in support of their quest to raise $300,000 for Because I am a Girl.

“Day one and two were nasty for us. We were fighting two metre waves,” explains Nicole in a post-swim interview with Rosey Edeh, Global News correspondent and Because I am a Girl celebrated ambassador. “It took a toll on us.”

The freezing lake temperature did not help. As the group neared Toronto, forecasts predicted the water would cool to a chilly 52 degrees. But despite chattering teeth and frozen toes, the swimmers kept swimming.

After four courageous days in the less-than-ideal waters, the swimmers cut their journey short at Hayden Beach in Whitby, Ontario. But the journey doesn’t end there.

The best is yet to come

The Because Girls Can swim team swam an incredible 242km, just shy of their 305.2km goal. Surrounded by media on the shore in Whitby, the team immediately knew they would not give up, in fact, they’ve already agreed to attempt the record-breaking swim again.

The determined swimmers have left many inspired, including themselves. But what inspires them most is the ability to do what they love while supporting the girl issue at the same time.

Inspired? Get fundraising today!