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  • Annabel Sides

Sport and a Swimmable Birrarung (Yarra)

Updated: Jul 9, 2023

Join us virtually on July 11, to help regenerate Naarm's iconic waterway: The Birrarung.

Many sports have deep connections with and dependencies on the Birrarung (Yarra). Some connections are built from single moments in time, others from annual or daily experiences.

Rowers and kayakers, commuters and river cruisers, bikers, runners and walkers frequent the waterway and its banks.

Fans that traverse and walk beside the river to sporting venues and events in the heart of Melbourne City.

Jim Courier once celebrated his AO win by taking a dip and Ron Barassi walked on water to carry the Queens Baton across the Birrarung during the Opening Ceremony for the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games.

Seldom seen now are swimmers moving through the waters.

“The idea of a swimmable Birrarung is not new. There is a long and proud history of Traditional Owners, community groups, activists, and government initiatives who have progressively worked towards the regeneration of the river, and swimming activations.” *1

Cities around the world are aspiring to make their major waterways swimmable. Sport can be, and is in some instances, a unifying force to achieve these legacies. The City of Paris aims to restore the health of the Seine enough to allow the general public to swim in sections of it in time for the 2024 Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Regen Melbourne is helping us connect and reimagine the Birrarung as Swimmable again. With this comes river health, biodiversity, and an even more special and safe place to recreate and celebrate beside, on and in.

Annabel will be co-facilitating a virtual session with Regen Melbourne on July 11th to explore the possibilities that this ambitious project brings to those sports who are connected as users or aspiring users to the River.

There are limited tickets available. For more information and to register


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