Love was in the air when four men dived into Towradgi ocean pool to race to present their valentine with a rose on Thursday.
It was all for a good cause - to launch the annual Wollongong Great Ocean Pool Crawl.
Former Illawarra Hawks’s player Glen Saville, Keira MP Ryan Park, event sponsor Ryan Heckenberg from Clearsafe Environmental Solutions and event organiser Phil Murray competed.
Mr Murray said it was now time for residents to register for the annual fundraising event.
In its 16 year, the pool crawl is a family friendly event where locals can swim, snorkel or even dog paddle to raise funds for Cancer Council NSW.
The event will kick off at Towradgi Park Bowls club on March 3. Buses will then transport participants to Coalcliff, Wombarra, Austinmer, Bulli, Woonona to finish at Towradgi ocean pool.
The event has raised more than $250,000 for the Cancer Council.
Mr Murray said he started fundraising for the Cancer Council's Biggest Morning Tea and then the ocean pool crawl became its own fundraising event.
"We needed to do more than just make cups of tea and cakes," he said. "We needed to think of a new way to raise money and so the pool crawl was started.
"At the time my family had not been touched by cancer but since then it has. Nearly everyone has been affected cancer and have lost people."
Mr Murray said anyone could participate in the fun event because it was not a race.
"It is a special and unique event," he said. "We are increasing numbers every year."
Keira MP Ryan Park participates in the event each year because he wants to support the cause.
"Unfortunately cancer has touched the lives of everyone in our community either directly or indirectly," he said. "We need to work together to support those going through cancer.
"The pool crawl is an iconic event that shows off our great ocean pools."
He said he was disappointed not to win the race but it was "all in good fun" and enjoyed spreading some love on Valentine's Day.
Cancer Council community relations coordinator Sari Boschiero said the event ensured the organisation could continue to support people living with cancer in the Illawarra.
"All funds go towards Illawarra families affected by cancer through the council's support and information services, which include its transport to treatment, affordable accommodation, information centre in Wollongong Hospital and advocacy," she said.
“In 2018, Cancer Council NSW provided 3,439 room nights of affordable accommodation in the Wollongong Alkira Lodge, so that cancer patients and their carers can stay close to their treatment centres.
"Our transport to treatment drivers travelled over 27,531 kilometres to help 178 transport patients and carers from across the Illawarra to vital treatment and specialist appointments.”
Register via the Great Ocean Pool Crawl website.