Swimmers set to make a splash at today’s Four Elements Conservation NPC Ocean Challenge

Swimmers set to make a splash at today’s Four Elements Conservation NPC Ocean Challenge


More than 100 environmentally-minded swimmers are set to take to the water this Saturday (16 May) for the 2015 Four Elements Conservation NPC Ocean Challenge.


Among  the 117-registered swimmers are two former Olympians, Mandy Loots and Clifford Lyne, as well as top national swimmers Sarah Ferguson, Sasha-Lee Nordengen, Jay-Cee Thomson and Julian Taylor, who will be defending his Ocean Challenge title this year.


Taylor and Nordengen will be flying the national surf-lifesaving banner on the day. They will be joined by fellow lifesavers, Heather Campbell, as well as last year’s womens’ winner, Ayanda Maphumulo.


Established by Durban’s, Olivia Taylor when she was just 15 years old, Four Elements Conservation NPC is an internationally-recognised organisation which aims to preserve the natural environment. The Ocean Challenge is one of the projects that falls under this banner.


Now in its second year, the hugely popular Ocean Challenge – which started with 16 participants in 2014 – will see swimmers take to the Indian Ocean in Durban and swim a gruelling five kilometres, ending at North Beach.


“The aim of the swim is to create awareness about the immense degradation of our oceans,” explained Four Elements Conservation founder, Olivia Taylor, 18. “There will be an interesting mix of people swimming this year, from 13-year-olds to top CEOs, all with a passion to conserve our environment.”


Starting at North Beach at 6.30am, the swimmers will head towards uShaka Pier and then back to North Beach, where top swimmers will complete the 5km swim in about one hour. A safety briefing will take place at North Beach shortly before the start at 6am.


The event will wrap up with an awards’ ceremony, starting at 9.30am at Durban Surf Lifesaving Club, which is open to the public.


Apart from the environmental awareness created, the swim will also fund the Four Elements Evironmental Scholarship which will be awarded to successful applicants between the ages of 10 and 18. The successful candidates will attend an informative four-day camp which will be run by Olivia Taylor in December.


“Camp attendees will be selected based on several criteria, including passion for environmental conservation,” explained Taylor. “The aim is to create young, green, capable social entrepreneurs.”


She said the successful applicants will learn how to convert their passion for environmental conservation into tangible change by developing skills in marketing, fund-raising and cash-flow governance. The youngsters will learn what is needed to become independent young environmental entrepreneurs.


For those who are eager to get involved in ocean conservation on the day but prefer to remain on land, a beach walk and clean-up will take place alongside the swim challenge. This benevolent endeavour, which will be co-ordinated by the Durban Girls’ College Environmental Club, will start at 6.30am at Durban Surf Lifesaving Club moving to uShaka Beach and back. Participants can simply turn up on the day.


Although entries for this year’s swim have closed, there are late entries available, at an extra cost, for anyone still wanting to participate. The swim is open to anyone confident of swimming the distance in the ocean.


To enter, please go to http://www.fourelementsconservation.org/ocean-challenge.php. For more information follow Four Elements on Twitter @dive_aim_fly and Four Elements Conservation on Facebook. The event hashtag is #Swim4Change.


Date: May 16th, 2015

Time: 06h30

Venue: Durban Lifesaving Club (registration and prize-giving)


Contact Olivia Taylor at Olivia@taylorfamily.co.za

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