The 21st Annual Freezin’ for a Reason Polar Bear Swim in Williams Lake is going virtual.
Due to provincial health restrictions surrounding the novel coronavirus, regular events for 2021 need to be cancelled, said organizer Sunny Dyck, who is also the president of the Caribruisers Roller Derby team — the local organization that took on hosting the event after a longstanding tradition started by the Williams Lake Rustlers Rugby Football Club.
In its place will be a Polar Bear Plunge online.
Dyck said participants are encouraged to take a dip in a bathtub or kiddie pool filled with ice, make snow angels, be creative and unique and, if brave enough, adjust the temperature to 7C — the average water temperature of previous Polar Bear swim temperatures.
“Show us your digital dip, your cyber swim, your plugged in plunge,” Dyck said.
During the week of Feb. 2, 2021, interested participants are asked to share their video and photos online with the hashtag #freezin2021.
Pre-registration is available with a donation of $5 to receive a commemorative certificate, sticker and button (via e-mail or mail), which will be mailed out in March.
Groups planning on taking part of the event as part of a fundraiser are also being encouraged to do so by Dyck.
“Collect pledges for most creative video, longest cold water plunge, craziest antic,” she said, encouraging participants to be safe and keep social distance regulations in mind.
Freezin’ for a Reason organizers added they would like to extend a virtual hug and thanks to all the members, safety crew, volunteers and swimmers that make the event a highlight each year in the community.
The money raised from the event will stay within the community to support sports and arts groups from youth to adults.
“We will return next year,” Dyck said.