Foodbank friend, Michael Powell, swims the English Channel in a bid to raise $20,000 for Foodbank QLD.

32 kilometres, 7 hours, 14 degrees Celsius … it doesn’t sound that bad, does it? Only 32 kilometres, 7 hours and 14 degrees if you are lucky enough to get a beautiful sunny day, no tide and happen to be a professional long distance swimming athlete.

Meet Michael, a local Brisbane hero with a passion for swimming complemented by a passion for helping Queenslanders who are doing it tough. Michael made a personal commitment in January 2016 to swim the English Channel during the English summer of 2017. A personal journey inspired by swimming legend, Des Renford, and the loss of loved ones at a young age.

Losing loved ones early in life has created a desire to help others be their best

Michael’s eldest sister Katrina and Uncle Henry had their lives cut short through illness and war; they were both departed by eighteen years old. Michael has not previously honoured his sister with an event nor publicly remembered his Uncle but his English Channel swim is the perfect opportunity. Michael hopes that by teaming up with Foodbank Queensland, he can help build awareness for the School Breakfast Program which ensures young Queenslanders get the healthy start they need. By fulfilling their potential at school kids can go on to live long, healthy lives that unfortunately his sister and uncle missed out on. Michael says, “by reaching them at a young age I hope this means our efforts will be multiplied and continue to deliver for generations to come.”

Michael’s commitment to intense training has prepared him for the long swim ahead

Michael started training in March 2016. Michael says preparing for the swim has been difficult “not only do you have to prepare for the distance, you have to prepare for the elements.” The 32 kilometres can easily turn into a 50 kilometre plus swim if the tide and conditions are not in your favour. The temperature is uncontrollable but Michael is travelling to various locations within Australia to test his abilities in a range of conditions with open water swims. And the time? Michael has not set himself a time goal as not only are the conditions too unpredictable, swimming with an amputation is no easy venture.

An accident does not make a quitter out of Michael!

Michael lost his leg at age 4 due to a devastating farming accident. He is a true warrior living a full life and maintaining his passion for swimming and not letting his prosthetic slow him down in any aspect of his life. Michael has made a pledge to swim the English Channel, to the best of his ability, without wearing his prosthetic in a bid to raise awareness and funds for Foodbank QLD.

Do your part and help Michael make a difference

Michael has set a generous goal of fundraising $20,000! Foodbank Queensland is able to provide 100 bowls of cereal and milk for kids with every $10 donated. If we work together to reach Michael’s goal this will be equivalent to 200,000 bowls of cereal and milk!