Boat engines rev up for Ski for Life fundraiser from Murray Bridge to Renmark

READY TO GO: Event organisers Tim and Sue Watt are excited for the ninth year of Ski for Life. Photo: Supplied.

READY TO GO: Event organisers Tim and Sue Watt are excited for the ninth year of Ski for Life. Photo: Supplied.

Water skiers of all ages are preparing for a full-on three-day trip as the annual Ski for Life nears.

Ski for Life is an event that raises awareness of mental health and illness, wellbeing, and suicide prevention as skiers head from Murray Bridge to Renmark on the March long weekend.

Event organiser Sue Watt said 27 teams from around Australia would be taking part in the 456-kilometre ski trip this year.

"It really feels like a family; we generally only catch up with those involved once a year, for the event," she said.

A breakfast is held at Sturt Reserve from 7am on Friday, March 5 before teams head off at 8.45am.

On the first day, they make stops on the 207km leg at Younghusband and Swan Reach, before finishing up at Morgan.

On day two, teams leave Morgan at 8.30am and stop at 9am for a special moment of the trip: a memorial service at Cadell, where people lay wreaths in the water in memory of loved ones lost to suicide.

They then head to Caudo Winery and Waikerie, then finish for the day after 124km of skiing at Cobdogla.

On Sunday, they leave Cobdogla at 8.15am to travel another 125km, making stops at Loxton and Berri before completing the trip at Renmark about 3.30pm.

"Some people ski the whole way by themselves," Mrs Watt said.

While there is no set fundraising goal this year, Mrs Watt said "quite a large amount" has already been collected to put towards the Ski for Life grants.

Funds are available for communities, groups, and individuals who are running projects that align with the Ski for Life mission of raising awareness and promoting mental health, wellbeing and suicide prevention.

"We've grown to a point where we also include fundraising and put money back into the community through our grants," she said.

"Last year we raised $121,000, and so far $93,000 of that has been put back into the community."

The trip helps communities in other ways as well; boats stop to spend their money and stay at small communities along the river.

"It's as much a fundraiser for us as it is a fundraiser for local providers," Mrs Watt said.

For more information and to stay up-to-date with the trip, visit www.skiforlife.com.au or follow Ski for Life on Facebook and Instagram.

  • If you or someone you know needs help, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Rural Remote Helpline on 13 14 65.

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