Peyton Watson, 11, is swimming 20km as part of the Starlight Foundation's 2021 Super Swim Challenge to raise funds for children in hospital.
Peyton Watson, 11, is swimming 20km as part of the Starlight Foundation's 2021 Super Swim Challenge to raise funds for children in hospital.

Incredible Emerald girl, 11, takes on 20km swim challenge

An 11-year-old Emerald student has committed to swimming 20km to raise funds for sick children after she was diagnosed with an auto-immune disease.

Peyton Watson would originally spend time in the pool to escape a world of bullying – it was her calm and happy place.

Although since then she’s discovered a hidden talent, and with a lot of hard work, dedication and support from the Emerald Seals, her self confidence has grown.

After recently being diagnosed with an auto-immune disease herself, Peyton decided to turn her passion into a way to do good, and is swimming 20km as part of the Starlight Foundation’s 2021 Super Swim Challenge.

“It comes naturally to me to want to help others,” Peyton said.

“When I heard about the super swim, I thought what better way to help out, because I love swimming.

“I’m finding it so rewarding just knowing that I’m helping other Aussie kids.”

Peyton Watson, 11, with her mum Larissa.
Peyton Watson, 11, with her mum Larissa.

The Emerald Christian College Year 6 student smashed her $500 goal before she even started her swim on January 26.

She has raised $2431 so far with a new goal of $3000 for the 30 day challenge.

More than 4000 swimmers have registered for the challenge Australia wide, raising a combined $800,000 and a goal of $1 million.

“All money raised will help put smiles on the faces of sick children during their hospital stay,” Peyton said.

She aims to swim 20km – 400 laps of the 50m pool – between January 26 and February 24, but thinks she’ll “easily” pass the goal.

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Her mum Larissa said it was incredible to see her daughter so eager to support others, while also facing her own challenges.

“It’s very rewarding as a parent knowing that your child wants to make a difference in someone else world,” she said.

“Peyton has always had a big heart. It makes us very proud to see her set goals and achieve them.

“She’s very determined but not afraid of working hard to get there.”

Peyton and Larissa wanted to thank everyone who has supported the challenge so far, through donating, words of praise or swimming laps beside Peyton.

Anyone wanted to get behind Peyton can donate directly through the website, or use the donation jars at one of the following local businesses:

  • Woolworths Marketplace
  • Emerald aquatic centre
  • Subway on Egerton
  • Eagleshams
  • IGA Emerald
  • Gemfields pharmacy
  • Rubyvale post office

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