Cantabrians brave cold sea for charity

Cantabrians braved the biting wind and bitterly cold conditions to raise money for families with disabled children this morning. 

The midwinter swim at New Brighton beach saw about 30 people, including Christchurch's quake hero Flatman and Crusader's halfback Andy Ellis, strip down to their togs and take the cold plunge. 

More than 150 people huddled together on the beach to watch the action and together raised about $1000 for Christchurch-based charity Smile Dial. 

Charity founder Kelly Dugan said he was roped into swimming seven times because ''people kept offering me $100''.

When The Press spoke to him earlier he was ''still totally frozen''.

Dugan established Smile Dial in February last year and said the charity provides support for all members of a family who have unwell or disabled children. 

Dugan, whose young daughter Lucia was born with traumatic brain injuries, said he was ''really happy'' with the support the charity received at the event.

Smile Dial hosts teenager days, weekend retreats for fathers and has a champagne breakfast coming up for mothers, Dugan said. 

The Press