Canada’s Longest Open Water Swim

Est. 2022

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Christina Lake at Sunset


The Big Effort Swim is an inaugural open-water endurance event held at Christina Lake in the Kootenay Boundary Region of British Columbia, Canada. It’s organized by a volunteer-led roster of passionate athletes whose goal is to bring together nature, community, charity, and fun. Scroll down to learn more about our team, community, and events and to watch our documentary about Sasha’s first attempt of The Big Effort Swim across Christina Lake.

The Foundation

The Big Effort Foundation is a non-profit organization founded in 2022 by three friends and athletes who wanted inspire a new genre of fundraising through extreme sporting events. Our focus is on others; helping people push their own physical limits, thus providing both physical and mental health, meanwhile supporting the community and its environment. Our mission statement “The ability to recognize the enormity of one’s impact; which requires big effort, the bigger the effort the bigger the impact.”

Founded April 2022

The Team

Sasha Tyoschin - Founder & Director

Alexander is currently a swimmer for the Polytech University of Valencia (UVP), he came up with this event in the summer of 2020 after swimming the length of Christina Lake with the help of his brother, Kostya Tyoschin and his friend and spotter Michael Konken. Sasha’s natural leadership and athleticism has brought together the managing team and the inaugural Big Effort Swim to Christina Lake with the goal of promoting British Columbia’s natural environment, good health and community.

Victoria Henne - Operations & Outreach

Victoria Henne is a Christina Lake local who grew up at the lake. She is a varsity athlete who played college basketball in Kelowna while attending Okanagan College. Albeit not being a swimmer, she is very passionate and dedicated. She is enthusiastic to contribute something special and meaningful to her community, especially an event that not only embraces the natural beauty of her home but pushes the the natural limits of the body and mind through sport in order to create a BIG IMPACT.

Pamela Kinga - Marketing & Digital

Pamela is an enthusiastic upcoming triathlete who is also our tech genius, she is currently the senior data strategist at Wix. In the summer of 2021 she happened to be swimming in Christina Lake training for an upcoming Ironman, where she met Alexander, swimming of all things! They found that they had similar passions towards sport and the community. Pamela, specifically found that she not only wanted to push her own physical limits but in doing so wanted to support a cause and inspire collective efforts.

Kostya Tyoschin - Videographer & Promotions

Kostya is a film student living in Vancouver who has completed numerous triathlons and all-round athlete competing in swim track, and rugby. His passion for excellence is demonstrated in film and documentary. In 2020 he entered the “documentary” category of the Rode film festival with his brother as the inspiration for the 3min documentary about his 8 hour swim across Christina Lake. Two years later his brother and himself have naturally decided to progress this one 8 hour memory they shared, into something that can not only help raise money for charity, but embrace both what these two brothers love doing most.

Swim Launch at Christina Lake

The Community

This event wouldn’t be possible without the incredible support and hospitality of The Christina Lake Welcome Centre and surrounding community. To learn more about recreation, lodging, and activities in the area, check out these links:

Christina Lake Welcome Centre

Regional District of Kootenay Boundary

BC Parks – Christina Lake

Christina Lake Visitor Center – Facebook

View of Christina Lake