Felicity swims 16km on her 16th birthday

21:44, Jul 24 2014
Felicity Lowen
HARD WORK: Felicity Lowen swims 16 kilometres on her 16th birthday to raise money for cancer awareness.

Felicity Lowen celebrated her 16th birthday in an unusual way - she swam 640 laps.

It has been a tough year for the teenager. Felicity's father, Martin, died in January in a plane crash and her grandmother died of cancer about a month ago.

But the Cashmere High School student is still able to give. She spent four hours swimming 16km to raise money for the Child Cancer Foundation.

Felicity was shattered after the swim.

"I'm usually a sprinter so long distance was a challenge for me."

She first had the idea to swim 16km on her 16th birthday a year ago when a member of her swim club did 18km on his 18th birthday.

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Felicity did not leave the pool at any point and the longest break she took was two minutes.

"I swam the last 1.5km flat out because it was the home stretch and I just wanted to finish."

She said raising money for charity was important to her and she felt "exhausted but proud" of her achievement.

"I've been through a lot this year with family issues... and I'm so glad I spent my birthday doing something other than for myself."

Felicity had raised more than $1000.

The Press