The Cows honour heroes of the Midmar Mile 2019
Pietermaritzburg – With the spray having settled on the 2019 aQuellé Midmar
Mile, The Cows are paying tribute to some of their heroes that were amongst
the 400 Milers that took part in the world's biggest open water swim on 9
and 10 February.
Together they managed to raise over half a million Rand for the CHOC
Childhood Cancer Foundation of SA, with late donations still being deposited
into their account.
While every finisher in the black-and-white cowprint swimming costumes is
being hailed for their contribution to CHOC and the event, there were
several stand-out swimmers representing The Cows.
With hundreds of schoolboys and girls getting involved, Hendrick van der
Merwe, who coaches swimming at the Hatfield Christian Academy in Pretoria,
was one of the hero Cows.
He was born with Spina Bifida and has gone on to become a world-class
paralympian, who is heading back to the World Championships for a sixth
Van Der Merwe had plans to swim the Mile eight times, but was too late to
secure one of the elusive places in the Eight Miler. "That is definitely
still on my bucket list!" he said.
He led a group of more than thirty swimmers from his school to take part in
the Midmar Mile and throw their collective weight behind the CHOC fundraiser
for The Cows.
"I was so proud of how the pupils took ownership of representing The Cows.
They feel very strongly about it and some of them still choose to wear the
Cow costumes to training," he said.
He said that he hoped his example would inspire the pupils he coaches to
achieve their goals as swimmers.
"It's about taking extreme ownership," says the 28 year old coach,
popularily known as "Legs". "If you do that you can achieve anything."
Jade Redman won the Pope-Ellis Ironman trophy for the best combined time for
the FNB Dusi, Comrades Marathon and aQuellé Midmar Mile and also swam eight
Miles on the weekend.
"It was my first Midmar Mile back after a long break!" she enthused.
"I was asked to help coach a fellow Cow Ntuli Melusi to do the Midmar Mile,
and that rekindled my interest in it.
"Sadly he moved away due to work commitments but I kept up the training. It
was a lot of fun for a very good cause," said the 29 year old Kloof
The oldest participant in the event was 86 year old Mike "Buthy" Arbuthnot,
who has swum the Mile every year since he was part of the group that founded
the event in 1974.
The Mile icon was happy to throw his weight behind the CHOC fundraiser and
swim in the colours of The Cows.
More information about The Cows can be found at
About The Cows
The Cows were started in 2008 by a group of eight enthusiastic cyclists
keen to make a difference and raise funds for the CHOC Childhood Cancer
Foundation of South Africa. Cordi van Niekerk was
one of the founder members and joined Kerrin and Grant Bain in cycling the
947 Cycle Challenge in memory of their daughter, Jessica, who had
recently died from cancer at just 20 months old.
As CHOC had played a
significant role in the Bain family's life in the last few weeks of
Jessica’s life, specifically with palliative care and emotional support, the
decision was to make CHOC the beneficiary of their quest. They decided to
don cow suits and succeeded in raising R230 000.
In 2009, the herd gained momentum and grew to 140 energetic
cows. Just two years later the herd numbered a staggering 350 cows all
riding for a purpose. Armed with the ‘Love Living Life’ slogan and a healthy
dose of enthusiasm, the herd has enjoyed much success and acclaim.
Ten later, hundreds of people have participated in events wearing
cow suits. The Cows have just broken through the R30 million mark of funds
raised for specific projects implemented by CHOC and The Cows brand is
prominent in many sporting events in South Africa. With these funds, CHOC is
able to make a difference to the children being treated for cancer
throughout South Africa.
One herd; one quest: to make a difference to children with cancer. Love
More information can be found at
Click to download the hi-res
The Cows Logo - JPeg
Paralympian Hendrick van der
Merwe, the swimming coach at Hatfield Christian School, swam in The Cows
colours at the aQuellé Midmar Mile, sharing the monent with pupils he
coaches (from left) Joshua Smith, Dean Dollenberg andAntonio Delgado.
Jade Redman swam in the colours
of The Cows as she won the Pope-Ellis Ironman award for the best combined
time at the Comrades, FNB Dusi and the aQuellé Midmar Mile.
aQuellé Midmar Mile icon Mike "Buthy"
Arbuthnot swam the Mile for the 46th time, and was happy to represent The
Cows as a fundraiser for the CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation of SA.
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