Businessmen to swim 37km around Gozo to raise funds for the Malta Guide Dogs Foundation

Friday, October 14, 2011, 9:19

Local businessmen Simon Zammit, 46, and Sammy Attard, 45, may both be avid open-water swimmers, but the decision to swim the 37km stretch around Gozo is bound to prove a hefty challenge for anyone.

And yet, the duo has decided to plunge into the deep end and do their bit for charity. They hope to raise at least €37,000 for the Malta Guide Dogs Foundation, a charity launched locally five years ago.

“It’s a tough swim with some strong undercurrents,” says Simon. “But we’ve been training pretty seriously for the last five months or so and think we can do it.

“We’re certainly going to give it our best shot. After all, while we’ve only come to learn about the Foundation quite recently, we believe it to be very important and want to do our best to help out.”

Set up in 2006, the Malta Guide Dog Association aims to provide guide dogs to the blind. So far the organisation has partnered six dogs with visually-impaired owners, but it’s early days and there is still a long way to go.

“It costs around €14,000 to train one dog, and that dog can then be expected to work as a guide for around seven to eight years,” says Sammy. “As a result, a phenomenal amount of money is involved, even in the lifetime of just one blind person.

“We have spoken to some guide dog owners since getting involved, and each of them has explained just how important their dog has become in their life. It gives them so much independence and stops them having to rely on others for everything.

“Over 1,500 visually impaired people are currently waiting for guide dogs in Malta.”

Thus, Simon and Sammy hope to collect a minimum of €1,000 per kilometre of their endeavour, raising both awareness and a substantial amount of money for the charity.

Their swim will kick off at 7am on 22 October from Mgarr Harbour, Gozo, and is expected to last around 11 hours. The general public is invited to show their support during the activity, but can also donate to this worthy cause by sending a blank SMS to 50618903 (€6.99) or 50619201 (€11.65).

Those involved would like to thank all those who have helped out, especially Alan Zammit and his staff at the Fortina Spa Resort, and the Birkirkara St Joseph Sports Club, particularly Isabelle Zarb.


  1. davina says:

    A big well done guys you did it eventhough weather conditions were far from ideal :) )


  2. Oswald says:

    Great initiative Simon and Sammy. Wishing you GOOD LUCK in your 37 km Swim and hope your efforts will raise the desired funds.


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