Photos: Dawn McClean
There was an incredible show of support this week at the Portnablagh crab crawl fundraiser for Letterkenny swimmer Anna Hennessy.
Almost €2,000 was raised to support Anna as she flies the flag for Ireland at the Down Syndrome World Swimming Championships in Portugal in October.
Wednesday’s ‘Crab Crawl’ gathered 53 swimmers to enjoy some fun in the sun and healthy competition in a 1K ‘Predict your time’ swim.
Prizes were awarded to the fastest swimmer Mervyn McDowell (14.48) and the three people who were closest to their predicted time: Stiofain McAndrew, Tara Shine and Tara Shine. The winners were presented with vouchers for Revive Coffee Shop in Dunfanaghy.
The event was organised by Gartan Open Water Swimmers, who thanked everyone – the swimmers, safety boats, kayakers, timing crew, spectators and friends – who turned up on the day.
Anna and her parents Kevin and Mairead have issued a huge thank you to everyone who took part and organised the event. They said: “Thanks to those who helped out on the night, to all 53 brave participants and to those who very generously gave donations. We were absolutely overwhelmed by the response. There is such good will out there in Donegal. What a great community we have.”
Anna, who launched the swim on Wednesday, is busy training with Swilly Seals in the lead-up to the worlds.
She recently qualified at the Northern Ireland Disability Games in Belfast for the 50m,100m freestyle, 50m butterfly and the 50m backstroke.
Anna previously competed in the European Open Down Syndrome Swimming Championships in Sardinia in 2019, achieving personal bests in the 100m Freestyle and 50m Freestyle. She was awarded a ‘Donegal Sports Star Award’ in the special athlete category in 2018.
The 10th Down Syndrome World Swimming Championships will be held in Albufeira, Portugal on 15-23rd October. All competitors are self-funded.
To donate to Anna’s journey, please visit: https://www.idonate.ie/crowdfunding/GartanOpenWaterSwimmers