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Terence Parkin’s 902km of guts, grit and glory

Renowned athlete and Olympic Medalist Terence Parkin is taking on an incredible test of stamina and strength in an effort to raise awareness and funds for Deaf and disabled Children’s Learn to Swim and Water Safety Programmes across South Africa. Parkin plans to cycle, swim and canoe a mammoth 902km between Johannesburg and Durban in order to generate funds and awareness for young South Africans with disabilities.  Along the way he will compete in annual world-famous sports competitions: the aQuellé Midmar Mile and Dusi Canoe Marathon.

Parkin himself was born deaf and overcame various challenges to become the most celebrated Deaflympic athlete in the world and a silver medal winner in the 2000 Summer Olympics. His natural talents as a swimmer and his passionate advocacy for young deaf athletes led to the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation recently naming him as one of their ambassadors. He travels across the world giving talks on issues around water safety, preventing drowning fatalities and coaching children on how to swim.

He now plans to undertake the 902km challenge in order to raise awareness and funds so that deaf and disabled South African youth can have the opportunity to benefit from learning to swim and learning about water safety techniques. This, as Parkin can personally attest to, has a number of benefits on physical health, emotional well-being and self-esteem.  Terence has also been involved in saving a number of people from near-drowning.  Death by drowning is the largest cause of child deaths in South Africa – something that is totally avoidable and unnecessary.

“I want to help deaf and disabled children in SA to reach their full potential and grow into healthy adults,” Parkin says of his cause. “Swimming has been an incredibly positive influence in my life and I want children with deafness and other challenges to experience something similar. Who knows, there may be more Olympic medalists out there in SA that we can reach through this initiative!”

Parkin intends to challenge the following route:

5th February – Depart from Johannesburg to Heibron (151km)
6th February – Heibron to Clarens (165km)
7th February – Clarens to Afriski (127km)
8th February – Afriski to Sani Pass (135km)
9th February – Sani Pass to Midmar Dam (157km)

Swimming (Terence will join team Princess Charlene of Monaco in the aQuellé Midmar Mile 8 mile swim)
10th February – aQuellé Midmar Mile (6.5km)
11th February – aQuellé Midmar Mile (6.5km)

Running (Terence will run to the start of the Dusi Canoe Marathon)
12th February – Midmar Dam to Natal Canoe Club (30km)


15th February – Natal Canoe Club to Dusi Bridge (42km)
16th February – Dusi Bridge to Inanda Dam (46km)
17th February – Inanda Dam to Durban (36km)

Her Serene Highness, Princess Charlene of Monaco, endorses Terence’s initiative and is proud of his energy and commitment to the cause of water safety and drowning prevention, which is a key focus of the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation. Fellow Olympian, swimmer and CEO of the PCMFSA, Ryk Neethling, says that the Foundation is behind Parkin 100% and encourages other South Africans to lend their support to this worthy cause. “We can all be inspired by Terence,” Neethling says. “He is paving the way for disabled youngsters across our country to live their dreams – no matter what the odds.”

How YOU can assist Terence in his mammoth mission:

  • Spread the word, spread awareness, get people involved.
  • Cyclists and runners may want to join Terence for all or part of a specific stage of his journey.  For the privilege of doing this, we ask for a minimum pledge of R1000 per stage or R4000 per phase (eg. Johannesburg to Midmar).  All accommodation and support costs along the way are for one’s own expenses.
  • A once-off donation to this cause into the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation South Africa’s bank account:
    Account Name:  Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation South Africa
    Bank:  ABSA
    Account Number: 4090476847
    Branch Code: 631005
    Swift Code: ABSAZAJJ
    Reference:  Terence Parkin

Please email proof of payment to Tanya Harvey:  tanya@richmark.co.za

PCMFSA is a registered 18A Charitable Organisation.  If you wish to receive an 18A certificate please indicate such to Ms Harvey.

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