Eamon in the swim for a good cause

Paddling on the river, surf legend Tom Carroll and Olympian Eamon Sullivan. Picture: Sharon Smith/ The West Australian

In-between weekly flights to Melbourne for Dancing with the Stars, Eamon Sullivan has managed to squeeze in some time for a good cause.

The former Olympic swimmer and Bib & Tucker co-owner lent his support to Surfing Chefs for SurfAid, which saw a host of WA's top chefs gather at the Cottesloe Beach Hotel on Wednesday night to raise more than $55,000 for communities on islands off the coast of Sumatra and eastern Indonesia.

Unfortunately for Sullivan, his busy rehearsal schedule for the Seven show meant he had to catch a later flight home to Perth and missed the dinner.

But he was up early the next day to take a lucky auction winner out on the Swan River for a stand-up paddleboard lesson with two-time world surfing Tom Carroll.

While the winner paid around $2000 for the prize, Sullivan told AAA it was he who considered himself fortunate to learn from the best.

"It's not often you get to go paddleboarding with a world champion. I feel like I should be giving him some money," the 29-year-old laughed.

On a more serious note, Sullivan said getting behind a cause such as SurfAid was the least he could do.

"I don't see myself as a big profile but I like to help out where I can," he explained. "Especially being in Perth, people here would do anything for anyone. It's a great vibe here, being so far away we are like a small country in ourselves and that's what I always realise when I come home."

Sullivan loves his home so much that he has chosen to rehearse for DWTS in WA with professional partner Ash-Leigh Hunter and fly over east once a week for the live Tuesday shows.

The athlete said he was racking up some serious frequent-flyer kilometres but the constant travel was easier after announcing his retirement from swimming earlier this year.

"It's getting tiring but it's a lot of fun to do something different," Sullivan said of the reality series.

"Obviously being retired now means I have the time to say yes to (projects like SurfAid) - I can wake up tired and not really care because I don't have to train or worry about how my body is feeling."