Cooma kids show support for Jacob

Cooma Public School is getting behind fellow student and YMCA Swimathon 2013 ambassador, Jacob Suthern, and has pledged its support as a community at a launch held on Monday.

The school's support is being led by Principal Stephen Mayhew who has personally pledged to swim 300 metres and attempt to raise $1,000 at the national fundraising event being held at YMCA-managed Cooma Festival Pool on Sunday March 3.

Member for Monaro John Barilaro has personally pledged $1,000 to Jacob for the swim.

At a special YMCA Swimathon launch event and presentation held at the school on Monday, eight-year-old Jacob and his mother Tanya Beech inspired the school community with Jacob's story of raising $1,442 by swimming 600 metres at the inaugural event this year.

The money from Jacob's swim stayed in the local community to expand the Y's Learn-to-Swim program for people with a disability.

In 2013, Jacob wants to swim further and raise more - and is encouraging his school friends to do the same - to ensure more people in the local community with a disability can learn vital swimming and water safety skills.

"As a school community we couldn't be more proud of Jacob and are looking forward to supporting him and the YMCA at the YMCA Swimathon 2013," Mr Mayhew said

"We have a special needs unit at our school which makes this important cause especially personal for us all .

"Many children have already benefited from the funds raised locally last year and we look forward to ensuring more of our students and those in the broader community can learn the vital skill of learning to swim.

"I also look forward to attempting to swim half the distance that our local hero Jacob swam in the event in 2012."

YMCA Fundraising Manager, Damien Mandla, said he was "truly inspired" by the support shown by this school community.

"It's great to see so many people come together behind a great cause," Mr Mandla said.

"This year we have 25 participating pools across NSW and more than 50 pools across the nation taking part, all of which will be inspired by Jacob and the community at Cooma Public School."

Registrations for the YMCA Swimathon 2013 are free and open now at www.ymcaswimathon.org.au or at Cooma Festival Pool.

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