Saturday, February 14, 2009

85 Years in the River

The Spar Redhouse River Mile has been going strong since 1924 as South Africa‘s oldest open water swim.

Among the entrants during the upcoming 85th edition of the Spar Redhouse River Mile will be Olympic 10K Marathon Swim finalist Chad Ho, South Africa’s dominant 1K and 3K swimmer Abdul Malick Railoun, two-time champion Byron Lockett and 76-year-old Mally Richards (shown on left), holder of the most River Miles, doing his 56th swim after having missed out on only five races since his first appearance in 1948.

More than 5,000 spectators and 1,000 participants are expected in the 85th anniversary of Africa's oldest open water swimming event. Mike Zoetmulder of Zports organizes the Spar Redhouse River Mile and has an outstanding philosophy on why he is supportive of the swim.

"Having spent several years overseas, I have witnessed how sport benefits each and every one of us. I believe that sport strengthens character and contributes to mental and physical well being. Most sports teach the lessons of teamwork, perseverance, patience and discipline. The inherent challenges promote self-confidence and self-esteem. By offering well management sports events to a wider general public, Zports seeks to bring these benefits to individuals and communities across the Eastern Cape."

"Furthermore, Zports exists to encourage and facilitate excellence. We want to provide an avenue for athletes with the talent and desire to achieve their full potential. There are individuals for whom 'full potential' means competing with the best in the world. We must encourage these individuals because they are capable of a level of excellence that can inspire all members of our nation to fulfill their own potential."

"We hope that by encouraging participation, personal challenge and the pursuit of excellence, we will foster healthier and happier individuals, stronger communities and a better country."

Upper photo by Port Elizabeth Beachfront Lodges.

Lower photo of Mally Richards courtesy of Leon Hugo.

Copyright © 2009 by Open Water Source

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