The Cows embrace Midmar Mile milestone event
Pietermaritzburg - When thousands of swimmers converge on Midmar Dam for the
aQuellé Midmar Mile on 8 and 9 February, it will be a milestone event for
The Cows, who channel their passion for sport into fundraising for the CHOC
Childhood Cancer Foundation.
As loyal supporters of the world’s biggest open water swim, the
black-and-white clad swimmers have been given the privilege of hosting their
own batch that will kick start the 2020 event as the first event on the
That batch has attracted swimmers from every corner of the country, with
close on 300 swimmers committing to swim for CHOC, with well over R100 000
raised already for CHOC.
“We are thrilled to have been given our own batch,” said Iris Varty, who as
the Durban Daisy is co-ordinating The Cows at what they have dubbed the
There is a loyal core of schoolboys and schoolgirls that passionately swim
in the colours of The Cows, with a large contingent travelling down from the
Holy Rosary School in Johannesburg, an event that the school has supported
The Hatfield Christian Academy from Pretoria will also drive down to Midmar
to swim for The Cows. They will rally around their inspirational swimming
coach Paralympic swimmer Hendrick van der Merwe.
He has set his sights on the tough task of swimming the fabled 8 Miler,
covering the Midmar Mile course eight times on the weekend.
“There are so many people who have been directly or indirectly affected by
cancer that we just want to do something for kids suffering from cancer,
while having fun,” said Hatfield Academy’s David Crewe-Brown. “It is a
chance for the kids to do something that matters while conquering the
aQuellé Midmar Mile!
“Hendrik is our school coach and he has not had the use of his legs since
birth,” he added. “ He is a great swimmer and is trying to qualify for the
“He said he would love to take on the challenge to do the 8 Miler and then I
told him to do it for CHOC so we can get many people rallying around him
supporting him and this great cause”, added Crewe-Brown.
One of the founder members of the Midmar Mile, Mike Arbuthnot, will be back
to cover the distance across Midmar Dam in the Cows colours.
In the big group that will be representing The Cows in the first event of
the weekend will be former champion Tracy Mckay, winner of the event in 2018
and runner up in 2019.
The local supporters have also banded together into training groups, like
the Midmoo Nutellas, to support the collective fundraising initiatives.
“It would be awesome to get some of the big schools in the Pietermaritzburg
and the Midlands involved to swim for The Cows,” added Varty. “It is a great
event to tackle as a school, and by swimming for CHOC the kids get the sense
of contributing to a greater cause while taking on the personal challenge of
swimming the Mile.”
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 raised well over R30 million 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 last year's aQuellé Midmar Mile, sharing the moment at the finish with pupils he
coaches (from left) Joshua Smith, Dean Dollenberg and Antonio Delgado. Van
Der Mwerwe will back to try and swim the * Miler for CHOC this year.
Swimming coach and paralympian
Hendrick Van Der Merwe will lead another big contingent of pupils from the
Hatfield Christrian Academy to the aQuellé Midmar Mile on 8 and 9 February.
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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