Hi, my name is Caitlin O’Reilly, I am 19 years old and my passion is ultra marathon swimming and protecting our oceans.
Swimming inspires me to challenge myself, whether it be in the pool by improving my speed or in the ocean where I have to conquer my mind when pushing outside of my comfort zone.
As part of my sport I enjoy giving back to the community. In 2022 I swam the length of Lake Taupo ‘twice’ and raised over $7000 for Westpac Rescue Helicopter. This took me 28 hours to swim 80kms continuously. I have also completed the NZ Triple Crown (Cook Strait, Lake Taupo & Foveaux Strait). Setting big goals and working hard to achieve them is what keeps me going. Most of the time my swims go to plan but occasionally life throws a curve ball and I don’t complete a swim – I believe these are the times that I need to dig deep and take it as part of the journey. Things don’t always come easy, its about the hard work you put in and the drive you have to reach your goals.
After graduating from Carmel College I started a degree at AUT Auckland in Paramedicine. I’m now in my second year and loving every minute of it. Whilst studying I am working as a lifeguard at AUT Millennium pool and training for me next Oceans Sevens swims – English Channel and North Channel (Scotland to Ireland). Each swim has its own challenges, but I am excited to see what I can do and get closer to completing my goal of swimming the Oceans Sevens.
In the future, my goal is to involve myself more in ocean conservation as I believe that for our world to have a healthy future, we must have a healthy ocean.