Hardy swimmers take the plunge for Special Olympics

All smiles at Fenit on Sunday as swimmers took part in the charity ‘Polar Plunge’ event
All smiles at Fenit on Sunday as swimmers took part in the charity ‘Polar Plunge’ event
Swimmer and event organiser Kevin Williams poses for the camera at the ‘Polar Plunge’ event at Fenit on Sunday. All photos by Domnick Walsh
Making a splash at the ‘Polar Plunge'

Fergus Dennehy

Even with the Christmas Day swims two weeks away, local swimmers could not wait that long to dive into icy waters once again as they took part in the fundraising 'Polar Plunge' on Sunday morning.

A day organised by local swimmer Kevin Williams and the rest of the Tralee Bay Swimming Club saw close to 50 swimmers braving the elements as they aimed to raise funds for the Munster branch of the Special Olympics.

Donation buckets were dotted around the beach on the day, and while Kevin said that they have no exact figure yet on how much they raised, he said that he was delighted with what he saw being given.

There were two guests of honour on the day: Elaine Burrows and Brendan O'Connell. Elaine made history earlier this year when she became the first Kerry woman to swim from Blennerville to the Maherees, while Brendan, of course, famously won a gold medal at the Special Olympics in Los Angeles back in 2015.

"We're always very proud of Brendan and what he's done with swimming, the gold medal especially. The O'Connell family are hugely into swimming in Tralee as well. We're very happy to support the cause, so anything that we can do to help give back to them is great," said Kevin, speaking to The Kerryman on Monday.

"It was a great event. It was really brilliant to see so many people come along and take part. Most of the swimmers were there with us yesterday, so we did actually go for a swim in it as well; it was lovely," he continued.

As to whether the water was as cold as it looked? Well, Kevin had an emphatic answer: "It was even icier!" he laughed. "It was about six or seven degrees that morning."