Record-breaker Weber gets behind Midmar Mile charity challenge

21 October 2022 – Fresh from her record-breaking crossing of the English Channel, two-time Olympian Michelle Weber took part in the PinkDrive Swimathon in Pietermaritzburg on Friday as part of the charity launch for next year’s aQuellé Midmar Mile.

Weber is also a two-time winner of the famous race across the KwaZulu-Natal dam near Howick, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2023.

The 26-year-old swimmer, who set the quickest time by a South African woman by crossing the English Channel in 10 hours and 21 minutes, is hoping her efforts will inspire the thousands of Midmar swimmers who will make their way to the event from 9-12 February next year.

Weber is planning to complete the eight-mile charity challenge in 2023 to raise money for PinkDrive, a charity close to her heart after her mother died of breast cancer two and a half years ago. She’ll then contend for a third senior title in the women’s elite race.

“I think it’s an amazing thing. Sport is so big and so powerful, and I think when you combine it with giving back, it just makes such an incredible movement,” said Weber ahead of diving in to do her bit at the swimathon.

“I think we have a role and responsibility as athletes… the Midmar Mile is so massive and it’s so amazing that people come together every single year for the swim and to support such a big cause. I think it’s just incredible,” added Weber, who will be gunning for a fourth Olympic Games in 2024.

The charity aspect plays a massive role at the aQuellé Midmar Mile each year with organisers aiming to surpass the R5 million mark in 2023.

The official charities for next year’s aQuellé Midmar Mile were announced at the launch on Friday. The major charities include: the Chad le Clos Foundation, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, CHOC, PinkDrive, CANSA, and Happy Bundles. The smaller organisations include: Little Eden, Umngeni SPCA, PMB SPCA, SA Legion, Society for the Deaf & Blind, Gateway Christian School, iThemba Lethu, KZN Cystic Fibrosis, Thandanani, Pevensey Place, Village Safe Haven, SA Guide Dogs.

Last year a single swimmer, Jo-Anne Barnard, raised a whopping R65,200 for CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation at the aQuellé Midmar Mile with even greater feats expected in 2023.

Those inspired to take on the 8 or 16-mile charity challenges next year can log on to www.midmarmile.co.za.

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