Community comes together for Lachie

The local swimming community will come together this weekend to celebrate the life of a young person and raise money to support youth mental health and suicide prevention.

The first annual Laps for Lachie fundraising event will take place at Kardinia Aquatic Centre on Sunday, March 3, in honour of much-loved Geelong swimmer Lachlan Ricchini.

The event, which is open to all, is part of the wider Laps for Life initiative, which runs throughout March and raises money for youth mental health charity organisation ReachOut.

Geelong and Melbourne Swimming Clubs are leading the event, with Geelong club president Tim Woods saying they were expecting several hundred people from across the state to attend the inaugural event.

“This is a community initiative that’s designed to celebrate Lachie Ricchini’s life, but also to raise awareness and to seek to raise significant funds for ReachOut’s youth suicide prevention program,” Mr Woods said.

“People all around the state will be attending and there are satellite events being conducted over the course of March in Lachie’s memory, because he and his family were much loved and widely respected in the swimming community.”

The event runs from 10.30am to 12.30pm, with waves of swimmers taking turns completing as many laps as they can, while sales from a barbecue, raffle and special swimming caps will also help boost the fundraising effort.

“People will have the opportunity to buy a brightly coloured swim cap, printed with Laps for Lachie, because Lachie loved a bright colour,” Mr Woods said.

“(Our) campaign’s raised over $30,000 in the last 10 days, which is the largest of all of the contributions made by any group or individual swimming thus far in Australia.

“We’re looking to make that significantly larger so that we can make a meaningful difference.”

Visit to donate to the team or for more information on the event.

If you or anyone you know needs help, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14, Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800, ReachOut at or Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636.