Bonny Hills resident Judy Mort signed up to her first Can Too Learn to Ocean Swim program at Port Macquarie last summer.
Everything was going swimmingly until, at the deep end of the program a couple of weeks away from the ocean swim goal event, the program was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
So, when the opportunity came up again to join the ocean swim program with Can Too Foundation, she dived in and registered straight away.
"I loved the expert coaching, learning how to use my body and core in the water, how to stretch out and reach, learning drills and putting it all together at the beach training," Judy said.
Being able to train with a group of like-hearted people and receive professional coaching were the big drawcards for her return to the Learn to Ocean Swim program.
"Coaches Melinda Cockshutt and Paige Leishmann were fantastic, as was being able to share the experience with like-hearted people for the benefits of cancer research, to support a worthy cause and for our own health benefits," Judy said.
The health professional grew up in and above the water, swimming, diving, sailing, snorkelling and windsurfing in the Northern Beaches of Sydney.
"Swimming in the ocean is where I am most at peace," Judy said.
Even though she was a confident ocean swimmer she learnt new aspects of swimming technique every session along with the dedication to swim in the pool and the beach twice a week. This has propelled her to swim 1km in the ocean easily.
She also enjoyed watching everyone in the Port Macquarie training group (knows as a pod) encourage and support each other.
"I loved the input from the Coaches and Team Captain and seeing us all progress, gain skills and confidence, and knowing that we're all doing this for a good cause for others and ourselves."
The midwife is also inspired to take part to raise funds for cancer research after losing her father, 'who had years of a happy life ahead of him', to cancer 12 years ago.
"Cancer touches everybody. I've lost my father, my uncle, friends and colleagues to cancer.
"I'm so happy to be doing the Can Too swim program again, and we'll see where this takes me."
Registrations for the Learn to Ocean Swim in Port Macquarie are now open, with training starting November 12 at Port Macquarie Olympic Pool and Flynns Beach.
For more information at www.cantoo.org.au/swim