A love of swimming must be in John Weedon's blood.
He inherited a fondness for the sport from his parents and has passed that on to the generations after him.
"I think my parents threw me in the water when I was very young," he said.
Now, after almost 70 years of swimming, he is diving head first into the Australia Day Harbour Swim at Stockton, alongside his son and grandchildren.
Stockton Surf Life Saving Club (SSLSC) will host the 24th annual club fundraiser, which includes the Single Crossing 700 m event from Stockton to Newcastle, and the Double Crossing 1400 m from Newcastle to Stockton return.
Three generations of the Weedon family will be represented in the 700m social event.
"Competition swimming is really exciting," Mr Weedon said.
"It's like you're at an Olympic event, the enthusiasm and competition is so strong, but it's also a social activity.
"There are those who are highly competitive and have trained a lot and then those who are novices and just want to have a bit of fun.
"It's a very social event and you're with a huge number of other people, you're having fun and you're raising money for a very worthy cause."
Love of sport and competition aside, Mr Weedon believes swimming skills are valuable for people of all ages.
"Having been a teacher for 40 years, I know how important it is for Aussie kids to be able to swim at an early age," he said.
Wondering if you're up to the challenge?
Mr Weedon recommends attempting 14 laps in a 50m local pool to test your fitness.
The Stockton man hopes to encourage other people in the community to participate, have fun and raise money for Stockton Surf Life Saving Club.
Entrants must be 14 or older to participate in the 1400 m event, and 12 or older to join in the 700m.
For more information about the event, or to enter, visit www.oceanswims.com
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