World champion duathlete and Perth mum Katherine Ryan – who didn’t officially learn to swim until the age of 27 – took on her first solo Rottnest Channel Swim to raise funds for WA diabetes research on Sat 23rd February.
Katherine overcame a near drowning at the age of 9 and two more terrifying childhood water experiences and now works as a water aerobics instructor and personal trainer at Beatty Park Leisure Centre. Additionally, Katherine won the 45-49 yo age category of the ITU Duathlon World Championship in Canada in 2017! What a woman.
The 49-year-old mother-of-four set off on her first solo Rottnest Swim from Cottesloe Beach – a place she avoided for many years after being dumped by a massive wave there as a 12-year-old.
“It was still a little daunting but over the past 15 years I’ve built up my confidence as a swimmer and have finished the Rottnest Swim in a group and as a duo before so the time came to do it on my own,” she said.
Katherine was determined to raise funds for us, inspired by how medical advances in type 1 diabetes are helping people live better.
“I have friends who have three family members who live with type 1 diabetes – two of the kids and their mum – and they have told me so much about how research has made such a difference through insulin pumps and other technology,” she explained.
“That’s in contrast to my sister’s best friend who passed away at 38 due to complications from type 1 diabetes some years back now.
“These experiences I’ve come to know about have inspired me to raise funds for Diabetes Research WA and support medical research and local scientists.”
The Rottnest Channel Swim is a 19.7km open water swim from Cottesloe Beach to Rottnest Island.
You can still donate here to help Katherine reach her goal....
We are so proud of Katherine's efforts! She finished in an amazing time Thank you Katherine, you're our champion!!