Racing to support communication services

March 11, 2014

A team of four speech pathologists from Royal Perth Hospital (RPH) and Fremantle Hospital and Health Service (FHHS) competed in the Rottnest Channel Swim on Saturday 22 February 2014.

Named “Lost for Words”, Shelley Vivian, David Harrison, Elysha Cummins and Louise Cleary of Speech Pathology trained for the 19.7km crossing from Cottesloe to Rottnest to fundraise for Communicate WA. The team raised more than $2,100 for the organisation.

RPH Stroke Unit’s Senior Speech Pathologist, Shelley, said the team were passionate about raising greater awareness of people who have experienced strokes or other neurological conditions which result in difficulty communicating. 

“Communicate WA is dedicated to increasing community awareness and services available to those with communication difficulties. It’s important for us that we support services that support those in need,” Shelley said.

Beginning their training in October last year, the team undertook a vigorous training schedule in preparation for the event, training 4-5 times per week. Prior to competing in the Rottnest Channel Swim, the team competed in the Cottesloe to Swanbourne Open Water Swim together as well.

“It’s an iconic swim and it was a great platform for us to draw attention to communication impairment, something we see on a daily basis. We’re never lost for words and we believe no one else should be.”

Louise Cleary was sadly unable to race due to injury but she still went to Rottnest on the day and was an integral part of the team. Daniel Johns very kindly joined the team in her place.

Lost for Words successfully completed the marathon crossing in six hours and nine minutes.