Diving in for cancer foundation

2018-01-23 06:00
PHOTO: SuppliedThe swimmers (from left) Jay Azran, Ruth Azran, Jose de Charmoy, Andrew Stevens and Mike Oberholtzer are the five swimmers ready to swim the length of the Jozini Gorge to raise money for the Choc Childhood Cancer Foundation.

PHOTO: SuppliedThe swimmers (from left) Jay Azran, Ruth Azran, Jose de Charmoy, Andrew Stevens and Mike Oberholtzer are the five swimmers ready to swim the length of the Jozini Gorge to raise money for the Choc Childhood Cancer Foundation.

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FIVE gutsy open water swimmers will attempt the first ever crossing of the Jozini Dam Gorge in Northern KwaZulu-Natal on Sunday 21 January, raising funds for the Choc Childhood Cancer Foundation.

The eight-kilometre swim up the gorge, which separates the Lebombo and Ubombo mountain ranges, will start at the entrance to the gorge and finish at the Tiger Lodge at the Jozini Dam wall.

The group is made up of Mike Oberholzer, Ruth and Jay Azran, a South African couple who currently live in Swaziland, Andrew Stevens, a South African living in Australia, and Mauritian Jose de Charmoy.

“What makes this swim so unique is that the dam is flanked by private wildlife reserves as well as the Pongola Game Reserve. Wildlife abound in the area including the infamous tiger fish, hippo and crocodiles,” says Jay.

The initiative is the brain child of Ruth, who lost her mother and brother to cancer.

“About three years ago, following the death of my mother, I decided that one day in their honour I would swim the length of the gorge,” says Ruth.

“That time has now come, and I am truly fortunate to have my husband and three very competent other swimmers join me on this challenge.

“I chose to do it for Choc because it is a cause that is very close to my heart, especially in our younger generation and I really liked their fund-raising component called the ‘Cows’. We will be sporting our cow costumes and swimming caps on the day and give it our best shot,” she said.

“We definitely all share some nervous anticipation for the swim, but feel confident that we have done sufficient training,” added Jay.

The venture has been backed by a number of local businesses, including Tiger Lodge, Royal Jozini Private Game Reserve - Swaziland, Cycad Rock Lodge, Shayamoya Game Lodge, White Elephant Safari Lodge and Nimue Skin Technology.’

So far nine support boats with some eagle-eye scouts have been organised to assist in deterring wildlife. The swim will start at 9am and should take three hours to complete.

Financial pledges can be made online at www.givengain.com/ap/JoziniGorgeSwim

More information can be found at www.thecows.co.za - Supplied.

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