Alison Clinch

Balmoral 1km Swim 2020

It's my time to step up

Over the years, I've had many friends participate in Can Too events and have always been a sideliner supporter. In 2020 I've decided it's my time to step up. 

I love everything that Can Too delivers. Their work to support cancer research and prevention is amazing. That alone is enough for me to warrant supporting Can Too. But Can Too do more than just fundraise. They also offer the most supportive, fun, and professionally coached programs for people who want to take on a new fitness challenge. And that's where I'm getting involved this year...  I'm challenging myself to complete the 1km swim at Balmoral on 5 April. 

I'm excited about demonstrating to Tom and Georgia that their Mum can, and will, take on new challenges at 46! 

So, if you can sponsor me for any amount, I would be extremely grateful. The funds raised go towards innovation in the prevention, care, and control of cancer. Since 2005, the Can Too Foundation have trained over 15,000 participants to run, swim and cycle and raised over $21,000,000 to invest in 168 one-year cancer research grants.

Thank you for your support!

My Updates

Less Thorpe more Dory

Wednesday 11th Mar

Let me count the ways in which I’m the same as Ian Thorpe. Um, we both swim in water, and, um, I think that’s it. For whatever reason I’ve been thinking about Ian Thorpe a lot while I’ve been swimming. How many hours must he have spent following that line up and down the pool?

We’re over half way through our Can Too training program now and as is the norm, the coaches put us through a 500 metre time trial. Our goal distance for the event on 5 April is 1km and over the last few weeks we’ve often swam distances greater than 1km but it’s made up of drills of 100 metres, 150 metres, and 200 metres. Syncing it all together is a different kettle of fish. 

As I struggled against a stitch at the 200 metre mark of the time trial, I started to think of a different swimming hero - not Thorpedo this time, but Dory.  If you don’t know who Dory is, she is the blue tang fish (voiced by Ellen DeGeneres) in the movie Finding Nemo, whose mantra is “just keep swimming”. Who knew three little words from a Disney Pixar film could be so powerful? 

At the 400 metre mark (the distance which Ian Thorpe completed in a world record time of 3 minutes and 40 seconds!), I’d well and truly embraced Dory’s mantra and had found my rhythm. As my hand hit the wall on my final lap I was filled with relief. And satisfaction. I may not have been fast but I just kept on swimming. And that’s exactly what I plan to do on 5 April. 

PS: In the end my result for the time trial was very similar to Thorpie’s. Except for the minor detail that he would have done 1300m in the time that I took to do 500m. Same, same but different.

You need to get a pool boy

Tuesday 18th Feb

Sure, I can get a pool boy! Oh, sorry, you said pull buoy. My mistake. 

Turns out swimming - like most sports I guess - has its own language. In just a few weeks I’ve learnt about the following:

Sighting - sticking your head up in the water to find the buoy or a landmark. Very important so you don’t swim to New Zealand, or go way off course and swim further than you need to... I really can’t afford to do that!  

Sculling - not to be confused with what we do with wines on a Friday night, this is swimming on your front or back and using your arms like flippers. It’s supposed to be what you do when you’re feeling tired, but I’m so uncoordinated it tires me out because of the mental effort involved! 

Wading - this is the way we’re told to enter the water. It’s more applicable if you’re swimming at a beach with waves (i.e. not Balmoral) but y’know we’re serious athletes now so we’re doing it  anyway. The idea is that rather than lifting your knees straight up and over the waves, we’re told to lift them to the side behind us. Apparently it creates less resistance in the water. I’m still not convinced and have a suspicion the purpose is to to create entertainment for those on the beach! 

Pull buoy – disappointingly this is not a good looking man who comes to clean the pool. Instead it’s a piece of foam you put between your legs to keep them afloat so you can focus on your stroke technique. HOT TIP: To avoid an awkward conversation, be sure to enunciate clearly when you ask the sales assistant in Rebel for a pull buoy... See comparison picture. 

"You might have some work to do..."

Wednesday 5th Feb
Inspired by a dear friend at work who was mid way through a Can Too training program (that's you Steve!), I was digging around the Can Too website when I came across the “Are you ready to join us?” quiz. In a nutshell, the quiz asks how far you can swim without stopping, and to indicate how far "out" you can swim by placing a mark on a huge aerial shot of a beach (see my orange dot in the picture!). I hit submit on my answers and shot straight over to my inbox for the results. 
"It looks like you might have some work to do before learning to ocean swim." That was my result from the quiz. Ouch. It felt a bit harsh, but it was fair. 
The problem was by the time I did the quiz I really had my heart set on doing an event. So I signed up anyway (fake it til you make it, right?) and took myself to the ocean pool at Collaroy one Monday evening for some pre-training training. This is where I want to give a huge shout out to Benny. While he could have done 3 laps in the time I took to do 1, he instead stayed by my side the whole time. On that first night he just kept pushing me along, ever so gently. “Let’s aim for 4 laps", he said. Rest. “Shall we do another 2?”, he suggested casually. Rest. And then, "I reckon we could get another 2 laps in before the storm comes.” Rest. Leaving the best for last he said, “10’s a nice round number isn’t it?”
And just like that I became someone who a week before said she couldn’t swim 50 metres to someone who swam 500 metres. 

A week of firsts

Tuesday 4th Feb

It's been a week of firsts.

First was the decision to sign up after mulling it over for months. Then the first pool training session. And the first beach training session. 

With each first under my belt I've felt my confidence grow. I can do this. I will do this. I might even achieve more than I dreamt I could. 

This feeling, the confidence and joy I'm experiencing, is all due to our amazing team captain, coaches, mentors and other participants. We are an instant family. We support and encourage eachother. And we laugh. 

Tuesday's and Saturday's are no longer just Tuesday and Saturday, they're now "Can Too training days". They are highlights of my week. 


Thank you to my Sponsors


Jeremy Garling

Amazing! A+.


Alison Clinch


Lainie Mcpherson

Awesome Baz! Very proud of you xx


Steve Daykin

Go Alison! Good luck with your swim. Enjoy every minute.


Emma Hogan

Go well my pet. For Tash. For Sarah. And for everyone this nasty C word affects. Love you pet x


Renee Jennings

You little legend!! You will never regret taking on this challenge... this is just the start. xxx


Kris Morgan

Great work Alison, wishing you all the best for your swim!


Gabrielle Beeby

You did it! Of course you did! Such a fantastic achievement xx


Margaret Macfarlane

You have always achieved your goals. Great effort xx


Jeanette Patience

Alison we are very proud of you


Bronwen Osborn

Good luck Alison. You have got this ? Enjoy it ?


Donna Lincoln

I love you are doing this! You’ve got this ??


Diana Smith

Great work Al, supporting a fantastic organisation!


Wendy Boyd

You are going to NAIL this xx


Kim Hogan

Go Al - amazing effort. Loving your updates ?‍♀️?‍♀️?


Trish Clinch

Proud of you Al. You can do this!


James N Jac Taylor

Good luck!


Chelsea Boland

Good luck Alison! You’re going to smash it


Shann Curtin

You can do it! Next stop Shelly Beach :-)


Debbie O'flynn

Good luck - you will do great xx much love


Janine Fane

Do what Steve did - he survived! Good luck Clinchie xxx


Martine Murphy

Good Luck girls! X


Stephanie Haagen


Viv Rose

You go girl!!! x

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