A new swimming club in Burrell Creek is making the best of the pandemic

Cool dip: Burrell Creek Beauties Babette and Belinda Robertson with Liliana Kellett after a brisk swim in the Manning River. Photo: Submitted
Cool dip: Burrell Creek Beauties Babette and Belinda Robertson with Liliana Kellett after a brisk swim in the Manning River. Photo: Submitted

The thought of dipping our toes in cold water during winter holds little appeal for many of us.

But for a group of swimmers in Burrell Creek a full body plunge followed by a 20 minute swim in the fresh waters of the Manning River can be considered a highlight of their day.

Belinda Robertson, her daughter Babette and friend Liliana Kellett are the founding members of the Burrell Creek Beauties Swim Club, a rather unique and informal club formed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Belinda normally divides her time between her Burrell Creek property and Sydney where she is a member of the Bold and Beautiful Swim Squad in Manly.

Each morning at 7am the group swim 1.5km in the ocean between Manly and Shelly Beach.

"But because of COVID-19 I haven't been going to Sydney at all," Belinda said.

Her daughter Babette, a student at the National Art School in Sydney and also a keen ocean swimmer, has also been stuck at the family home.

But a chance encounter with a new resident of the area back in May gave the ladies an idea.

They met Liliana who had recently moved to Kundibakh from Melbourne and not only did they hit it off straight away, but discovered their new friend had been an Olympic swimmer - then known as Liliana Guiscardo - who represented Argentina at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

Liliana was really missing swimming too and so it was decided a swim together would do them all good.

With local public pools closed the trio decided to hop into one of the large swimming holes on Belinda's property.

The water was a cool 11.7°C and the new friends were in their element.

"There are so many benefits from swimming in cool water," said Belinda.

Others agree with health experts citing positive benefits to the immune system, mental health and circulation. Cold water swimming is also said to burn calories, reduce stress and increase your libido.

"I love it," admits Belinda.

"Sea eagles fly over and it's really beautiful to be in the water."

If a bit cold.

"You get in the water and you squeal. Everything freezes but you squeal it away," laughs Belinda.

"You then warm up."

Apparently by the time you get out you're pink againm which is good to know if you are contemplating joining the Burrell Creek Beauties as others have already done.

The club now boasts 12 members and growing on their Instagram page though some are transient visitors to Belinda's bed and breakfast.

It's a small core group who meet regularly, particularly on Wednesdays at 10am.

"I'm always looking for other people who want to swim," said Belinda who is flexible on times.

For further information about swimming with the group call Belinda on 0427 776 804.