Swimming to Colombia


Scott Philip and Oliver Barrand

Ever heard of underwater rugby? It’s a fast paced, high intensity, three dimensional team sport played beneath the water, originally devised in the 1960’s as a method of keeping divers fit.

Two Staff Association members are members of Australia’s first ever national team that will compete at the 10th CMAS Underwater Rugby World Championships in Cali, Colombia. And they’re asking for the support of their fellow members and CSIRO colleagues.

Oliver Barrand and Scott Philip are CSIRO education officers, members of the Staff Association and part of the inaugural Australian team heading to South America for the World Championships from 26 July to 1 August 2015.

Big swim

It’s just over 14,000 kilometres from the east coast of Australia to Colombia. So as part of a fundraising drive to support the tour, the national team have launched the Swim to Colombia project.

Swim to Colombia participants are aiming to swim a total of 14,000km in pools around Australia. Donors are asked to pledge a certain amount of money per length or make a flat donation in support of the team. The team has an overall target to raise $60,000 in donations that will help contribute to covering essential costs including competition entry fee, uniforms, flights and accommodation.

How you can help

You can make a donation directly to Oliver, Scott or the team as a whole. Scott has made the additional pledge to lop off the long locks and shave his head if the team hits the target.

All donations over $2 are tax deductable, and you will be transferred to the Australian Sport Foundation website to complete the donation. Additional terms and conditions are available on the Swim to Colombia website.

You can also help by registering to swim laps and asking friends and family to sponsor you as an individual or as part of a group.

More information


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