For anyone brave enough to plunge into the new year head on, or for those who just want to witness the spectacle, the 19th Annual Polar Bear Swim takes place this Saturday, Feb 2 in Williams Lake.
With temperatures expected to be in the double negative digits, participants are asked to be prepared for some cold, wet fun.
The Williams Lake Roller Derby Leagues — after taking over the event from longtime hosts the Williams Lake Rustlers Rugby Football Club — will be hosting the event, dubbed Freezin for a Reason, on Saturday, Feb. 2 at Scout Island.
“Thanks to Williams Lake business and volunteers, the past 18 years the event has evolved into a large community event and fundraiser for youth sports programs in Williams Lake,” said organizer and Caribruisers Junior Roller Derby head coach Sunny Dyck.
“Since 2000 all funds raised by the participants of the swim have gone right back into our community,” she said. “We have changed up the original model to include all programs and organizations that need a boost to start the year off, to showcase their individual strengths and to bring everyone together as one.”
Dyck said without the support of the community, events and programs such as the swim could not exist, and added it’s obvious the community values these programs because of their success year after year.
“We aim to always strive to keep giving back,” she said.
“This is one of our favourite fundraisers as it gives us a chance to give back with a great platform for all teams in our community, all while holding our league’s take on the long-standing tradition of the polar bear plunge, 19 years and counting,” she said.