Caloundra father of two Brendan Neil will run and swim an 88km mission from Noosa to Caloundra to raise money for special schools.
Caloundra father of two Brendan Neil will run and swim an 88km mission from Noosa to Caloundra to raise money for special schools. Patrick Woods

Coast dad to put his body through 88km torture test

A COAST dad will take on fatigue, cold and the risk of sharks in an 88km torture test to help some of our most disadvantaged children.

Tomorrow will mark the 11th time Caloundra's Brendan Neil has tackled the Island Charity Swim, but this year he's raised the stakes.

Instead of swimming from Mudjimba around Old Woman Island and to Mooloolaba to raise money for Sunshine Coast special schools, Mr Neil has gone a step extra.

He will run from Noosa to Mooloolaba, do the 11km swim and run from Mooloolaba to Caloundra.

"I am a bit nervous," Mr Neil said.

"It's going to be seriously demanding.

"The reality is that one day of discomfort, fear and a bit of suffering is nothing compared to the daily challenges these kids and their families face every day."

Mr Neil will leave around 10pm tonight, relying on Infinit energy drinks and a little kip in between.

It's not the first time he's attempted a feat of this magnitude.

Brendan Neil, pictured with Ashley Robinson, has completed 10 Mudjimba Island Charity Swims to raise money for specials schools.
Brendan Neil, pictured with Ashley Robinson, has completed 10 Mudjimba Island Charity Swims to raise money for specials schools. Patrick Woods

Back in 2009 he suffered a bout of sea sickness and cramps while tackling the attempt.

While he finished the swim, the last leg proved too tough.

This year, his two sons will ride their bikes alongside him as he pounds the pavement for the final 25km.

"They have grown up seeing the positive impact all the swimmers make to the lives of the kids, families and community of the Nambour and Currimundi schools," he said.

"The event is really important to me because it does so much for the special school kids and their families.

"Over the last decade I've got to know quite a few families and some of the daily struggles they endure.

"As a father of two healthy boys I know just how fortunate we are."

The 2019 swim will be the first time since 2004 that a team from the much-loved Stunned Mullet veterans from Kings Beach won't enter a team.

Spiritual father of the team, Ron Carr, who suffered serious injury in a bad fall last November which nearly cost his life will be on hand to present medals to swimmers as they cross the finish line.

All donations go directly to the registered charity, The Island Charity Swim, and the special schools will use funds donated to invest in capital projects.

In the past this has included a hydrotherapy pool, wheelchair bus, sensory playgrounds and interactive whiteboards.

Go to IslandCharitySwim.com to donate.


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