Eleven gutsy schoolgirls from Ridge Park College will take on their first aQuellé Midmar Mile this weekend in the colours of The Cows to raise money for the CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation.
They will be accompanied by their school’s new sport co-ordinator Amber Kilfoil, who responded to an email from the local co-ordinator of The Cows Iris Varty looking to involve as many schools as possible in the Herd of The Cows taking part in the world’s biggest open water swim on the weekend.
“Our principal jumped at the idea!” said Kilfoil. “We are not a big swimming school, as we have traditionally focussed on netball and running, but we had a small group of girls that were willing to take on this challenge.
“The idea of racing in the Cow costumes was a big drawcard for sure,” she added. “But that brought its own challenges, which The Cows sorted out really nicely for us, making up special full length suits for the Muslim girls taking part.”
Kilfoil said she was bowled over by the enthusiasm and commitment from the group of schoolgirls, particularly as funding is not easy for many of them.
“It has been difficult for some of them with transport to our early morning training sessions. We have also committed as group to raising the full amount of money asked by The Cows to be part of their Herd.
“We already have some money collected, and we will fundraise the balance through cake sales, breyani sales, and we will be raffling an awesome beanbag at our inter house swimming gala,” she said.
Kilfoil said getting the group of eleven girls to the fitness levels needed to confidently take on the Mile has been demanding.
“When we started the fitness levels were basically zero! They were capable of doing fifteen or twenty lengths of the school pool at best. Now our Midmar training is around a hundred lengths.
“As a school we take part in the A league galas, and while we don’t win races, we are always there.
“The girls are so excited and very nervous for the challenge of the Midmar Mile, and so excited to be able to do it for the CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation.
She added that all eleven learners had committed to doing more than raise money, and wanted to visit the Inkosi Albert Lithuli Hospital, where The Cows help fund a CHOC House where children receiving cancer treatment can stay with their parents.
“They can’t wait to go to the hospital and give the children as much energy and encouragement as they can,” said Kilfoil.