Young Gemma King joins 'Laps for Life' to raise money for mental health

Throughout March, 13-year-old Hawkesbury local Gemma King will be swimming laps to raise money and awareness of suicide and the mental health of young people. 

She has undertaken this challenge through the program 'Laps for Life', a large charity group that encourages people to set a goal, then swim laps to reach that goal in March. 

Charity swim: Gemma King swimming laps to complete her 'Laps for Life' Challenge, raising money to support young people's mental health. Picture: Supplied

Charity swim: Gemma King swimming laps to complete her 'Laps for Life' Challenge, raising money to support young people's mental health. Picture: Supplied

There are no limits on how much participants can swim or what their goals are. 

Gemma has chosen to swim 40km and with the help of her mother Tracy, she has been sharing her progress everyday. 

Tracy said that Gemma, "was inspired by some swimming club friends to put her swimming training into a way of raising funds for a cause."

She chose 'Laps for Life' because they work in conjunction with ReachOut, an online support service for young people suffering from mental health issues that need information and support.

"With all the bullying in schools and so much more that goes on in young ones minds, so many young lives are being lost by suicide due to mental health," said Tracy.

Gemma's original goal was $400 but she surpassed that in the first week reaching $1345, having already swam to the 16km mark. Her new goal is now $1,500.

"She kicked off on Sunday when her first donation was made. She saw the donation and said "well I better go do some laps now".

So she swam 20 laps which is 1km," said Tracy. If you wish to donate to Gemma's challenge visit tinyurl.com/y6gw77ve.

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