Charitable strokes for different folks

About 1500 participants will take to the water this Saturday to fundraise and bring awareness to their chosen charity.

A breakdown of what the Port to Pub event involves. Infographic: Kate Geldart.

Russell Green will be competing in this year’s event to raise money for his daughter Bonny, who has cerebral palsy.

“This year it is my 5th solo crossing of the Rottnest Channel, normally we raise money for the Saba Rose Button Foundation which is something near and dear to my heart as my daughter is a focus child of the foundation,” he says.

“I’m doing the 25km ultra-marathon for Port to Pub and trying to raise some funds and some awareness for my five-year-old daughter.”

Russell Green explains that his family wants to raise awareness in order for others to not have to face the same challenges they have.

When Bonny was 6 months old, she contracted herpes simplex encephalitis, which is commonly known as the ‘cold-sore virus’.

Soon after her injury, Bonny was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Because of her disorder, Bonny is unable to sit, stand, talk or eat without assistance.

Mr Green is raising money in order to provide a wheelchair-accessible car for Bonny due to the fact that she is becoming older and harder to lift.

Having a wheelchair accessible car will make it much easier and safer for Bonny and her family to be able to access the community.

The swim entails two races over two distances, with the first from Leighton Beach to Rottnest Island, which is a direct crossing of 19.7km, and the second a 25km marathon.

A group that is participating in their first Port to Pub swim, for another significant cause, is the MCC Mermaids who are sponsored by MCC Environmental which helps organisations become more sustainable.

The group will be calculating the emissions they generate from the event and counteract them through carbon credits and planting flora.

MCC environment and sustainability director Gillian Starling has always been passionate about the protection of the environment, which has helped her in leading a more sustainable lifestyle.

“I studied marine science and worked in marine conservation for my whole life. Conservation and sustainability is just part of me and who I am,” she says.

“When we wanted to do the swim, we thought about different ways to make it sustainable… and that was to offset our emissions, particularly because it can be done relatively cheaply and show people that you can collectively make a really big impact even by doing small things yourself.”

Next year, MCC Environmental will be working with Port to Pub to try to make the whole event carbon neutral.

Port to Pub spokesperson Ceinwen Roberts outlines the purpose of the Port to Pub event and what differentiates the event from others that involve the Rottnest Channel Swim.

“The Rottnest Channel Swim is obviously a very popular event and it does sell out. It’s gotten to a point where it’s very hard to get into so there was definitely demand for a new open water swim event in Western Australia,” she says.

“We include teams of six because we wanted to try and include people that maybe lacked confidence and hadn’t done it before or maybe weren’t fit or able.

“Also, we included a 25km ultra-marathon in this distance which really puts Perth on the map in terms of marathon swimming around the world.”

For more information regarding the Port to Pub swim, visit