This past weekend, a group of 24 local and international celebrities joined forces with corporate South Africa to raise funds for the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation SA in its first-ever Water Bike Challenge event to be held in South Africa. The Water Bike Challenge is an official fundraising event for the Foundation, historically held on the French Riviera between Nice and Monaco.
The event was part of a three-day fundraising initiative which included a Learn to Swim clinic for more than 100 school children, at which Princess Charlene enthusiastically took a hands-on approach to water safety education.
The 16 September race was held over 21 laps of a 1.2-kilometre course at Sun City and won by the Northam Platinum Bumblebees, featuring celebrity participants, musician Neil Breytenbach and former New Zealand rugby star-turned entrepreneur Sam Barton.
They led home teams featuring stars including Terence Parkin, AB de Villiers, Arno Jordaan, Bridgitte Hartley, Roxy Louw, Jesse Breytenbach, Kaiden Keyser, Grant Lottering, Pierre ‘Striker’ Strydom, ‘BadBrad’, Kevin Lerena, Clayton Jimmie, Albie Morkel, Lee-Anne Liebenberg, Dave Tanner, Ryk Neethling, Angelique Gerber, Garreth ‘Soldierboy McLellan and Tino Chinyani.
The major beneficiary of the funds raised by the Water Bike Challenge is Lifesaving South Africa. With a membership exceeding 8 000 individuals, including 4 000 devoted volunteers who carry out lifeguard duties, Lifesaving South Africa operates across 65 surf clubs and 22 pool clubs nationally.
As the authoritative body for lifeguarding and the promotion of Lifesaving Sport in the country, they aim to prevent drowning incidents and nurture a thriving community of lifesaving athletes.
“The Water Bike Challenge is great fun for participants and spectators, but it’s also an essential element in raising funds and awareness for saving lives and instilling a water safety culture in communities across Southern Africa,” says Chantell Wittstock, CEO of the Foundation’s arm in South Africa. “We were thrilled that Princess Charlene of Monaco could attend the event and play such an active role in educating children about water safety and raising awareness of this critical cause. Bringing the Water Bike Challenge to South Africa for the first time is a step towards increasing the amount of work the Foundation does in the region and boosting the good we’re able to do here.”