Bon Voyage for Michael Powell’s English Channel Swim for Foodbank Queensland

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The English Channel is perfect to truly test the human mind

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Hands up if you could swim 10 laps of an Olympic-sized pool. Now keep them up if you could swim 32 kilometres immersed in 14 degrees Celsius open water if you happen to select a beautiful sunny day, using one leg and with no opposing or cross tides: that last bit sure took a few of you out!

Well, there is a determined and generous person who is putting everything on the line to do just that by swimming the English Channel. If you’d like to meet and cheer on Michael Powell before he sets off on his challenge then come along to the Newstead Brewery, Milton, 67 Castlemaine Street, Milton from 6:00 pm until 9:00 pm on Thursday, 10 August, 2017.

Entry for the evening is $85 per person for which you will enjoy a schooner or sparkling wine on arrival. Once you have savoured the flavour of your entry drink you can make a choice of either a taste plate of five different beers from Newstead Brewery or a tasting flight plate from the Cake Wines range – why do these places make going out so difficult? There will also be some incredible nibbles and small snacks served  throughout the evening including a few vegetarian options.

Take this opportunity and make sure you don’t miss out by declaring your interest here before Friday, 4 August 2017.


(Newstead Brewing Milton, 67 Castlemaine Street, Milton)

For me, spending an evening in a brewery is always a good idea but this time you will also be able to support Michael’s swim and his efforts to raise $20,000 for Foodbank Queensland‘s School Breakfast Program. Michael hopes to help build a greater awareness of the School Breakfast Program and, in doing so, help more young Queenslanders get the healthy start they need so they can fulfill their true potential at school and go on to live long, healthy and productive lives.

Not only will you get to meet an incredibly determined person in Michael you will also get to be in the presence of one of the all-time NRL greats, the legend and true gentleman who is, Petero Civoniceva. What a night it is going to be!

Before we all get too excited about the chance to meet Mr Civoniceva here’s a little about the real star of the night. Michael, who lost a lower leg at the age four due to a farming accident, is a local Brisbane hero whose passion for swimming is only equalled by his passion for helping Queenslanders who are doing it tough. Michael made a personal commitment in January, 2016 to swim the English Channel during the English summer of 2017 as a way of raising some much needed funds to support Foodbank Queensland’s, School Breakfast Program.


(Michael in training in the pool)

Michael hopes that by teaming up with Foodbank Queensland, he can help build awareness for the School Breakfast Program and help ensure young Queenslanders get the healthy start they need. As Michael says, “by reaching them at a young age I hope this means our efforts will be multiplied and continue to deliver for generations to come.”


(Michael in training in the ocean)

Michael’s training for the swim commenced back in March, 2016 with a view to improving his stroke and, more importantly, further developing his natural hardiness, determination and abilities. Michael has said his preparation is all important and any hardship experienced then will pay dividends when he’s fighting the Channel. He realises that it’s not only the distance but also the elements. The 32 kilometres can easily turn into a 50 plus if the tide and conditions are not in your favour. One thing Michael is very relaxed with is the time he intends to take. In fact, he has not set himself a time goal as not only are they conditions too unpredictable, swimming with an amputation is no easy undertaking. His focus is totally on the swim and he has adopted a ‘whatever it takes’ attitude that says, ‘it ain’t over til it’s over’. That is really something, isn’t it?

Foodbank Queensland is the State’s largest hunger relief program providing food relief to over 300 charities and more than 200 school breakfast programs. The organisation helps to feed 180,000 Queenslanders every month. Unfortunately, even these tremendous efforts fall a bit short, due to insufficient funding or food donations more than 8,000 needy people are not receiving relief.


(Your donations will help keep these trucks full)

By setting his generous fundraising goal at $20,000 Michael will provide Foodbank Queensland with the equivalent of 200,000 bowls of cereal and milk. If you are able to help, please visit Foodbank Queensland’s web page here and follow the prompts to make a donation.

Foodbank Queensland warehouse and office are situated at 179 Beverley Street, Morningside. Contact the office through this link or for more information on how you can help out call on 07 3395 8422 or email at [email protected]

Foodbank Queensland is constantly ‘food’ and ‘fund’ raising with its overall focus fixed on doing everything possible to support the charities supporting vulnerable Queenslanders. A most wonderful ambition.

If you have some money, food or time to help Foodbank Queensland achieve its important goal then be like Michael Powell and use your own considerable talents to help our less fortunate.

Why? Take this opportunity to meet two great men while you enjoy some beer and nibbles. This is probably once in a decade opportunity.
When: 6.00pm to 9.00pm, Thursday, 10 August, 2017
Phone: 3395 8422
Newstead Brewery Milton, 67 Castlemaine Street, Milton
Cost: $85

Original article appeared in WeekendNotes here.

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