Saint swimmers spend the night in the pool for Relay campaign

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 6, 2005

Compared to what’s usually on television in the wee hours of Saturday mornings, Robbie Bradshaw didn’t have it too bad.

Sitting in his lifeguard chair a few feet above the Suffolk YMCA pool, Bradshaw watched dozens of Nansemond-Suffolk Academy swimmers kickboard back and forth, raising funds for the 2005 Relay for Life, which will be held at their school on May 20-21. The exact tally was not known at press time, but was estimated to be above $4,000.

&uot;I do this every year,&uot; Bradshaw said. &uot;It’s easy pay and it’s a fun atmosphere. I just drink a lot of liquids.&uot;

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That’s a popular way for the swimmers to stay up as well.

&uot;I drank a lot of coffee,&uot; said NSA eighth-grader Sara Comer, in her first year at the swim-a-thon, which has been kicking off the NSA Relay campaign for the past eight years. &uot;It’s wonderful! My friends told me it was fun, and I like it because I get to swim with my friends.&uot;

But the event wasn’t just for the usual swimmers, who had taken three meet wins earlier in the day.

&uot;I wanted to help beat cancer,&uot; said senior LeCardi Johnson, who took a break from warming up for the upcoming golf season to take a dip. &uot;I respect all swimmers now, because I swam two laps, and now I’m tired. It’s good fun, though.&uot;

After helping the girls’ team to wins over Hampton Roads Academy and Stonebridge in her farewell home meet on Friday afternoon, Tess Smith took part in her fifth and final swim-a-thon.

&uot;It’s about the purpose and the enjoyment,&uot; Smith said. &uot;We are fortunate not to have cancer and should work for the people that do, and we have a good time hanging out with our friends. This is something I’m going to miss.&uot;