Swimmer goes extra Mile to make sick children smile

2017-01-18 10:54
Northdale lifesaver Higgins Thaver is swimming the Midmar Mile in February in aid of charity — this time for kids.

Northdale lifesaver Higgins Thaver is swimming the Midmar Mile in February in aid of charity — this time for kids. (Ian Carbutt)

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Pietermaritzburg - A Northdale man will once again brave the cold waters at one of South Africa’s most prestigious aquatic events, the annual aQuellé Midmar Mile in February, in aid of charity.

Higgins Thaver said this year he decided to swim for a purpose and raise funds for the Rainbow and Smiles Childhood Cancer Foundation to help children fighting cancer.

This will be the fifth year that Thaver will be participating in the Midmar Mile.

“I always wanted to do the Midmar Mile, so in 2012 I was trained by the Olympic Swimming Pool superintendent Balan Pillay.

“As my coach, I guess Balan saw my commitment and offered to train me further as a lifeguard,” he said.

Thaver qualified as a lifeguard in 2013 and has been working at the Olympic Pool ever since.

For the past two years Thaver has been swimming the Midmar Mile under the Pink Drive foundation, which is also a charity for cancer.

Thaver said he was contacted by a woman who had lost her four-year-old child to cancer and she asked him if he would consider swimming under the Rainbows and Smiles Foundation.

“I thought why not, as long as it is for a cancer charity,” said Thaver who has a soft spot for people suffering from the disease as he has also lost relatives to it.

Thaver has also swum the Golden Mile and the Capital K.

“I enjoy my job. It gives me great joy and relief to save someone's life,” he said.

He said swimming is his way of giving back to children and working with them to keep them off the streets.

“It is always a big achievement to see a seven-year-old swimming 1,6 km or two kilometres at the dam.

“Swimming the Mile is exciting but that mile is my little way of bringing a smile to many not so fortunate children.

“I appeal to the community to support this noble cause as the beneficiaries are children who hold a special place in my heart,” said Thaver.

• People who wish to donate can visit the Help a Buddy website:
www.backabuddy.co.za/champion/project/higgins-midmar-for-rainbows-smiles or call Thaver on 074 601 6582

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  good news  |  midmar mile

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