Parents jump in for swimmers

2015-07-07 06:01
Swimmer Camrin Elliot (12) dances with his mother Rene Elliot at the dinner dance held to raise funds for his and other children’s swimming participation.

Swimmer Camrin Elliot (12) dances with his mother Rene Elliot at the dinner dance held to raise funds for his and other children’s swimming participation.

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A group of parents from Lansdowne, Mitchell’s Plain, Plumstead and Retreat believe that swimming is not getting as much coverage as other sports, making it difficult to be financed or to get sponsorship.

For their children to take part in swimming competitions, they say they have to dig deeper, but they can’t always afford to pay for their travel, amongst other things, when they go to a competition outside the province. To make matters worse, there are not enough heated swimming facilities, making it difficult for their children to practise throughout the year.

To raise money the parents hosted a fund­raising dinner dance for four children at the Claremont civic centre last week.

The four swimmers, Camrin Elliot (12), Nezario Stevens (12), Ciara Payne (11) and Inez Marthinus (10), are all level two swimmers with Vineyard Swimming Club.

They have all competed at regional championships and are currently preparing for trials to represent the Western Cape in Pretoria in December. The money made at the fundraiser will cover some of the expenses for this trip.

One of the parents, David Marthinus, says they received an overwhelming response and it swept them off their feet.

“We didn’t expect such presence. People came out in support and those that weren’t there sent their donations. The support was more than what we expected. We are glad that people came out to support us and to make sure that our kids succeed, because they put in a lot of hours to make sure that they excel in what they do. The money will go a long way in helping. We won’t stop now because there are a lot of other competitions, so we will continue to host such events,” he says.

Another parent, Tracey Payne, also says the event was a success. They are glad that what they got will help them prepare for the next tournament.

“We had to do everything out of our pockets and it was so costly. We have to book flights, accommodation and cars when they go out of the province. The event was such a success and it will help us prepare for our children’s next event. This is what they love, so we have to do everything within our power to support them. Everything helps, so we are grateful for the people that came out to help,” says Payne.

Marthinus adds that they are proud of the four children as they put in effort and dedication.

“We are exceptionally proud of them. At that age, they can even do open-water swimming where they have to put in long hours. Their dedication is commendable and having to find balance between their school work and swimming is just adorable. What we have to do now as parents is to support them. We stand behind them fully because they are an example to everyone. They have opportunities that we never had,” says Marthinus.

The parents are already looking forward to another fundraising event. Those who want to attend the fundraiser or donate to help can contact Marthinus on 076 406 3458 or Payne on 074 976 8019.

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