The Cows embrace Midmar Mile milestone event

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 Saturday.
 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 “Midmoo Mile”.
 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 since 2014.
The Hatfield Christian School 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 parent 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 next paralympics.
 “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.”