Shorty stars take to water - minus the soap

By Vicki Woolley

Jarod Rawiri doubts his Shortland Street character would manage an open water swim.
Jarod Rawiri doubts his Shortland Street character would manage an open water swim.

Shortland Street star Jarod Rawiri is looking forward to an opportunity his on-screen character wouldn't likely have.

On Saturday, April 2, Rawiri and his 9-year-old daughter Huia will take the plunge at Takapuna Beach in the King of the Bays, the final event of the 2015-16 Ocean Swim Series.

Training hard for the event, Rawiri says of Mo Hannah: "I think he would love to [enter a swim event] but he'd be too busy dealing with his family and trying to pay the bills."

But it is the family aspect that most excites Rawiri.

"I'm most looking forward to spending time with my daughter, being active in the ocean. I have a goal to spend more time in and on the water this year. Surfing, paddling, swimming - anything that involves getting into the ocean," he says.

Fellow Shortland Street actor Matt Chamberlain will join Rawiri and Huia at King of the Bays. A seasoned swimmer, the 51-year-old has previously taken part in the Auckland Harbour Crossing, the Christchurch Le Grande swim and the Christchurch Crown.

Similarly, he would be surprised to see his on-screen persona Murray Roberts in the water.

"Muzz prefers to be on the water, in a boat fishing with a few beers rather than in the water," says Chamberlain.

New Zealand has appalling drowning statistics. Seven people drowned during the Christmas holiday period and on February 8, two people died and six others were injured in five water-related incidents.

Ocean Swim Series event organiser Scott Rice is passionate about getting Kiwis of all ages and abilities into the water.

"We've been lucky to have people from all walks of life take part in our events. From series regular Ian Jones to Shortland Street actors, TV presenters and Special Olympians, we've seen it all. I'm extremely proud of having participants involved in the series who've had to overcome serious adversity to take part, from one who had a phobia of swimming, to a swimmer who completed the Harbour Crossing using only their arms. I am constantly inspired by this strength of character."

With Surf Life Saving NZ patrolling all events in the series, and distance options ranging from the OceanKids 200m to the 'I'm going long' 2.8km, the series is a safe and inclusive introduction to open water swimming.


King of the Bays
What: Ocean swim, individual or relay.
When: Saturday, April 2.
Where: Takapuna Beach.
For more information: www.oceanswim.co.nz

- NZ Herald

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