Beachgoers at Bondi on Tuesday morning might have spotted a solitary figure doing lap after lap beyond the breakers.

Or those driving from Sydney to Wollongong last weekend would have seen the same person, this time cycling between the two cities.

But this was no average fitness kick.

The athlete in question, former Neighbours star Stephen Hunt, has a much greater purpose.

On 1 August Hunt, 24, will attempt to swim from Spain to Morocco to raise funds for the AIDS Trust of Australia.

It’s a journey for which Hunt, now a Kids With AIDS ambassador for the Trust, will draw on a history of competitive swimming.

But the charity swim’s genesis runs deeper than that.

Ten years ago Hunt’s uncle died of an AIDS-related illness.

He decided to devote his time to helping HIV/AIDS charities, and after leaving Neighbours in 2001 he approached AIDS Trust CEO Terry Trethowan with a proposal: to swim the English Channel for raise money for the organisation.

Despite the cold -“ and miscalculations that saw him swim 53km instead of the anticipated 40 -“ Hunt completed the Channel crossing in 2002.

The effort garnered $35,000 for the HIV/AIDS charity, and Hunt aims to top that figure with a target of at least $50,000 for the Spain-Morocco swim.

The original thing that really attracted me to this swim was that it was from Europe to Africa, from a really developed continent to a more or less third world continent, he said.

I looked at that as being almost a metaphor for bringing aid from the developed world down to Africa.

Hunt will be joined on the water with a few of his famous friends.

As on the Channel swim in 2002, former Neighbours actors Daniel MacPherson and Jonathan Dutton will be on the support boat in August, this time joined by current Ramsay Street resident Blair McDonough.

Every time I turned my head [on the Channel swim] I had my sister and Dan and Jonno there making faces, so there was no way I was going to fall asleep on them, Hunt said.

They egg you on the whole way -“ last time they were singing songs and were quite drunk at the time.

But that’s okay. It keeps their spirits up, it keeps mine up.

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