HAVE YOU watched every film back to back? Can you quote any character from any tome of on demand? Did you have to be surgically removed from Super Mario Brothers on the Nintendo as a child? Would you pick as your...
New Year’s Day dip: Chilly charity tradition
ONE of coastal Spain’s most gruelling traditions, this morning brought crowds of hardy – or foolhardy – swimmers onto the beach for their annual icy New Year’s Day dip.
The January 1 sea swim takes place all along the shores of the Comunidad Valenciana, Catalunya, Andalucía, the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands, and typically raises cash for charity through entry fees and donations on the day.
Some are organised by British expats, who may seek sponsors among friends and family to boost their charity pot, although ‘sponsorship forms’ are not a well-known tradition among Spaniards.
For the British community on the Costa Blanca, one of the most famous New Year’s Day dips has historically been off Jávea’s Arenal beach, organised by the Lancashire Bruja bar.
Catalunya’s best-known version is off the Sant Sebastià beach in Barcelona, where literally hundreds of bathers turned up at noon today (Tuesday) in Santa Claus hats and swimsuits to hit the freezing waves.
Here, participants are given a mug of soup to warm them ahead of their challenge and can get changed in the CN Atlètic Barcelona yacht club afterwards.
Their €3 entry fee for the non-competitive swim goes directly to the Amics de l’Hospital del Mar (‘Friends of the Hospital del Mar’) to support research into ovarian cancer, currently one of the most deadly strains of the disease affecting women as it is practically asymptomatic until it is at stage four.
Once all the entry fees have been counted up, the yacht club and La Caixa bank’s social and humanitarian foundation each match the total, trebling the money raised by the swimmers.
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