Over the line: “I’m pretty sure the sharks won’t get me,” Ben Jackson, with son Luke, said. Picture: Isabella LettiniA father and son duo will hit the waves for the fourth year running in a bid to raise funds for charity organisation Hills Community Aid.
Ben Jackson and his son Luke, 15, will once again take part in The Cole Classic Ocean Swim, a two kilometre race from Shelly Beach to Manly on February 7.
Their goal is to raise $5000 for the Hills Community Aid crisis support line — a service that can make all the difference for those going through social or financial hardship.
“It was a bit difficult last year, I was a bit puffed after,” Luke told the News.
“On the way to Manly the beach gets pretty choppy.”
The Hills Sports High School student said he was confident he’d beat his dad once again.
“Dad and I get pretty competitive every year — the thing I’m looking forward to most is beating dad, and also raising funds for the crisis support program,” he said.
Luke is a volunteer with Hills Community Aid, spending a day every month or so helping at the Hills Daily Grind coffee van.
His dad said contributions to the charity would go towards helping people who don’t have the means to access Hills Community Aid and urgently need information or advice.
“Crisis support is about helping people at their most vulnerable,” Mr Jackson said.
“The government program has provided emergency relief to address this issue because sometimes people can’t get there because they have to use public transport or sometimes because there’s a waiting list.
“It’s for when you’re in crisis and waiting a week and a half is too much for you.”
The organisation was forced to turn away 70 people in the past six months, many of whom would have had no other option but to turn to the crisis line.
In the meantime, the pair is busily training in preparation for next week’s race.
At least, one of them is.
“I’m trying to get in the pool every two weeks and doing two kilometres,” Luke said.
Despite the difference in age, Mr Jackson said he was confident. “I’m going to take him to the line,” he said.
“In Shelly Beach Cove there’s actually a shark nursery, so on my fundraising page I’m sending out a plea to my friends insinuating that perhaps the sharks might get me — we like to have a bit of a laugh.”
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