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HomeLifestyleLocal legends with Cerebral Palsy swim 20km for their mates

Local legends with Cerebral Palsy swim 20km for their mates

Northern Beaches local, Nicholas Lapsley, has completed the 20km with 20 mates swim challenge he organised as a group fundraiser for the Cerebral Palsy Alliance, raising over $13,000.

On Saturday 5 February, Nicholas and 19 friends, all of whom have varying physical limitations, entered the pool at the Sydney Academy of Sport and Recreation in Narrabeen and swam sponsored laps. Nicholas personally swam 40 lengths of the 25 metre pool.

As previously reported in the Manly Observer, Nicholas has cerebral palsy, a condition that affects an estimated one in 700 people worldwide. For most of those affected, the cause is unknown and a cure yet to be discovered.

But despite the challenges that cerebral palsy presents, Nicholas accomplished the swim in an incredible, disciplined display of aquatic prowess that left this observer awe-struck.

Nicholas Lapsley and his ’20km with 20 mates’ aquatic team achieved their fundraising swim for the Cerebral Palsy Alliance on 5 Feb 2022. Photo: Alec Smart

Nicholas told Manly Observer, “It feels great to have finished my 1km swim in 31 minutes. I felt very tired at the end but it’s good to know I have completed the swim successfully. I also feel proud that this event, that has been months in the planning, went smoothly, with everyone determined to push themselves and swim their 1km and raise funds for the Cerebral Palsy Alliance.”

Was it difficult to discipline himself to persevere for the full 40 laps?

“Yes, it was,” he admitted. “I had to really rely on endurance and positive motivation to keep myself going.”

Was everyone exhausted after the swim was achieved?

“Pretty much, yes, but some people swam an extra 250 metres on top,” he revealed. “They did this to push themselves, and to do extra laps for those who were finding it more difficult, so we could achieve the 20km as a group total.”

Nicholas and his team-mates mid-swim. Photo: Alec Smart

At present, the aquatic team has fundraised $13,161 for the Cerebral Palsy Alliance, which has its headquarters in Allambie Heights.

Cerebral Palsy Alliance, a not-for-profit organisation reliant on donations, is the leading provider of early childhood intervention for cerebral palsy, providing a multi-discipline therapy service, including physiotherapy, speech pathology and the provision of assistive technology and equipment.

If you would like to contribute to Nicholas’ 20km with 20 mates fundraiser, visit:


Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/20kmwith20mates/

Nicholas with cupcakes baked for participants in his ’20km with 20 mates’ fundraising swim for the Cerebral Palsy Alliance. Photo: Alec Smart


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Manly Observer is an experiment in providing non-sensationalist hyperlocal news on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. We cover the big news across the LGA, but with a hyper focus on the Manly electorate encompassing Balgowlah, Seaforth, Freshwater, Brookvale and Curl Curl up to Dee Why. It is run by those living in the community for the benefit of an informed community. We care about an informed and connected community. That’s it. Simple. Thank you for your support in keeping quality local news alive!

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