30 relay teams from the Munich International community each swam as far as they could for one hour each on Saturday 10th September 2016.
They swam over 95km in total over 5 hours at the HVB Pool, Schwabing and raised over
€26,000 (including sponsorship from Riedel Immobilien), for refugees in the Munich area.


The Event

What a day!

Sept 10th









with special thanks to....


What a day!

Congratulations to the 30 teams that swam a total 91.5kms in 5 hours and raised so much to really help integrate Munich's refugees. It was an event where everyone involved in whatever capacity, showed great energy, excitement and a positive “can do’ attitude.


Team Family Phillips set the record of the furthest distance swum in the hour of 179 lengths (4.48kms). Congratulations! The Sea Lions team of under 14yrs, managed a very respectable 151 lengths (3.8km). The Swim Across the Schools team comprised of Dr Chrissie Sorenson, Director at Bavarian International School, Adam Smith, Deputy Director at St George’s School plus swim coaches Heiko Horn at Munich International School and Ben Krodel at PHORMS, and the team swum the second furthest with 172 lengths, 4.3km.


Thank you to the HVB Club for the use of their beautiful pool, Riedel Immobilien for their generous sponsorship, SZ for their media coverage, Mischa Kunz at Munchener Freiwillig - wir Helfen e.V for so much help, Beate Enzweiler for the website, Ben Krodel for everything to do with the pool, Nat Tauschinski for his incredible help with posters and flyers, Mirka (Mehmet) Celikoglou for for the banner Janet Czekirda for the photos, Weena Jones and Silke van Wasen for the bananas, Bridget Hooser for the music, and the Ampercussions band of refugees from Haimhausen "Amper Camp" led by Bertrand Koehler for entertaining everyone so well. Thank you to many many more that helped tirelessly on the day.


What is swim for life?


International communities including BIS, MIS, Phorms and St Georges are getting together to swim in teams as far as they can in one hour.  The aim is to help raise much needed money from around the world and here in Germany, to help meet the huge challenges of quickly integrating the thousands of Refugees arriving and now living in the Munich area, as well as those not so fortunate at the borders of Europe.




How it works


Teams of 4 people/team from international school communities (students, parents, teachers, friends and relatives) swim as a relay team for one hour.  Only one team member can be in the pool at a time and tries to swim as many lengths at their own speed, for as long as agreed with their team.  Each team member may swim as many times in the relay as they agree.

There are four categories of teams, Kids under 12 yrs old, mixed Kids and Adults, Adults and Club swimmers (able to swim 2km in 45 mins).

There are prizes in each category for the furthest distance swum as a team in an hour, and most amount of money raised per team.

Swim a target distance of 2 - 5km as a team, to help towards an event target of 250km so we can challenge other cities in Germany to try and beat our distance.  Raise a target of €500 per team, to help raise an event target of €25,000 for the Refugee crisis.


The 2016 Swim for Life raised €26,000

from Donors all over the world to be spent on the following Projects

One of the first organisations helping the masses arriving into Munich Haupbahnhof last year, and now supporting over 900 refugees to settle into a new home just near the station.  Also helping get supplies via convoys to the crisis areas in Europe such as Greece and Italy where thousands are still arriving seeking refuge.






It's not easy to find living space in Munich. This is true for people Munich, but especially true for refugees as they have to overcome many language, financial and formal barriers in the process.  To make it easier for refugees to access Munich's housing market, the charity Münchener Freiwilliger – wir Helfen e.V. has created a concept to improve their chances when searching for a flat. To achieve this, we are supporting property owners who are willing to let to refugees with a variety of services.





Nothing against knitting, but integration work should predominantly offer support in daily life.  Women are especially harder to reach, as they are usually the ones minding children at home. Volunteer work also requires a certain time frame in which one can engage with a new task or a new person. However, especially those aged between 25 and 45 are rarely flexible and able to spare a few hours at afternoons during the week.  We intend to connect spontaneous, flexible volunteering and work for women by enabling parents and family members on parental leave to engage in volunteering work over a set period of time. Those who have visited playgrounds know that they can offer a valuable time frame of a couple of hours to meet on one of the park benches. Visits to playgrounds are a low-threshold service for mothers with migration backgrounds. And as playgrounds are scattered around the city, they can be a way of exploring the new home with all its diverse neighbourhoods. To ensure the best use of these couple of hours at the playground for integration work and practising German, all Playground Guardians shall receive a short training.





In various accommodation facilities, we will be cooking with refugees following their own recipes using our mobile kitchen. The idea is to go shopping together, cook typical, country-specific dishes and enjoy the meal with everybody involved.


The objective is to provide people with a degree of familiarity. This project also aims to give refugees, local residents and volunteers the opportunity to get to know each other, break down on prejudices and make new friends.


This small local Helferkries, like many, is managing the day to day integration of over 100 refugees, many of whom may not qualify for asylum but still need to be taught German culture and language to manage day to day life with the aim to find work.  Money can also go towards German citizens wanting to take a course to be certified to teach German to refugees.





At one point, a certain number of refugees may have to go back to their country, in particular those who are having a low probability to stay (niedrige Bleibeperspektive). Those also do not get any support by the government for language and some may not even be allowed to take a job, although they’d like to. On the other hand they may stay in Germany for many years. This project is combining the essential part of language and a type of education which will help the refugee in his country in case he will or has to go back. A team of two teachers for language and an education farming organization have teamed up to offer a half year program to support the idea of language and education.




Unaccompanied minor refugees obtain the opportunity to acquire the qualified certificate of secondary school. The participants are intensively tutored in German as their foreign language. Based on their education, they undertake an internship to discover their personal interests and skills. This allows them to find their individual professional perspective and an apprenticeship.

Münchner Volkshochschule GmbH

© Swim-For-Life 2016 - Impressum