The annual Coldvember challenge, which sees students swim in the sea every day in November to raise money for charity, has gotten under way.
Crowds of people are joining the event, with many arriving to Blackrock Diving Tower in Salthill at dawn each morning to immerse themselves in the cold water.
People taking part are asked to also donate money to the Galway Rape Crisis Centre, this year’s Coldvember charity, which supports survivors of sexual abuse and their friends and families.
Co-organiser Eoin Hernon praised the work of the GRCC, and stating the team were honoured to be supporting the charity for the second year in a row.
“Last year, the money raised from Coldvember went to the Galway Rape Crisis Centre too. The services they provide are well-needed. They have therapy and legal sessions and they are so brilliant. We can’t thank the girls and the guys down at the centre enough.”
He also praised the physical and mental health benefits that Coldvember participants can gain by getting up early and joining the crew in the water.
“It’s a fantastic way to begin the day. We have music going and a beautiful sunrise, and it’s just a great way to start the morning with your friends. It’s great to get out into the water, while raising money for a great cause at the same time.”
Third year Engineering student Aideen Murnihan said she is delighted to get involved in the challenge, and said the water was not as cold as she expected it to be.
“I thought it was going to be way colder, but thankfully I wrapped up in loads of layers! I’d say the water was a ‘cold level’ of eight out of ten.”
Joined by her friend Alisha Tobin, both girls said that the atmosphere at Coldvember was a huge incentive.
“I think everybody is kind of dreading it at the start, but then once you get in, and the music is playing, everyone is just really happy.”
The charity event is run solely by University of Galway students, and is getting underway for the fifth year in a row.
This year’s organisers also headed the team in 2021, where they helped raise €21,400 for the Galway Rape Crisis Centre.