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Making waves for charity

The conditions were near-perfect as some 172 swimmers competed in the 1 Mile, 4 Mile, and 8 Mile events at the Oceans 8 Charity Swim which took place at Durban Undersea Club on 15 and 16 June. This annual fundraiser saw more than R800k raised for 14 local charities – with donations still coming in.


Oceans 8 Charity Swim

This year, the swimmers competed across a new route which went over the end of Vetch’s Reef, giving participants a clear view of the marine life. In addition to its charitable drive, the event also focuses on sustainability, with no evidence left on the beach that the event took place. Swimmers were provided with reusable water bottles, water-on-tap, and minimum packaging, with the crews from Adopt-a-River on site to sort all waste into compostable, recyclable, and saleable.


Oceans 8 Charity Swim event spokesperson, Hilary Bruss, said it took a lot of collaboration to make the event a success: “We’d like to extend our appreciation to everyone involved in making the Oceans 8 Charity Swim such a huge success, as well as sending our congratulations to all the top achievers and to those who were competing in their first-ever ocean swimming event.


She said the Durban Undersea Club was packed with swimmers, spectators, sponsors, and vendors – all part of the community supporting the various causes: “We had whole families participating, with parents doing the 8 Mile and children doing the 4 Mile or 1 Mile events. We also welcomed donations, in one way or another, from 58 companies. We couldn’t have done it without the event sponsors, prize and goodie bag donors, or the swimmers and all their generous donors.”


The Oceans 8 Charity Swim is the country’s first-of-its-kind open water swim, organised exclusively by charities for charities. This swim was started by founding charities, Duzi Umngeni Conservation Trust, the National Sea Rescue Institute, Project Rhino, and Singakwenza Early Childhood Education to provide a sustainable flow of funding to 14 charities with a footprint in KZN. The 8 Mile swimmers raised funds for the founding charities and the funds from the 1 Mile and 4 Mile events were shared by the 10 invitational charities.


These include Adopt-a-River, Caversham Education Institute, CROW - The Centre for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife, the Game Rangers’ Association of Africa, International Sailors’ Society of Southern Africa, Kerr House, Liberty NPO, One Planet S.A., Wildlife ACT and Umduduzi - Hospice Care for Children.


Watch out for next year’s Oceans 8 Charity Swim by visiting or following @oceans8_charityswim on Instagram and oceans8swim on Facebook.


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