12 January 2024 – The 2024 aQuellé Midmar Mile will once again play a massive role in raising millions of rands for charities this February.
Thousands of swimmers are already working hard to raise funds for the various charitable organisations they will be representing at the 8-11 February event.
Among them is a group of development swimmers who will be representing the Chad le Clos Foundation. Le Clos himself recently met with the group at Seals Swimming Club in Pietermaritzburg to conduct a training clinic.
“It’s very special for me,” said the four-time Olympic medallist. “Since we’ve opened the Chad le Clos Foundation, it’s honestly been a dream of mine to get more hands-on with everything that we’ve done.
“It was truly inspiring to meet these young kids, just to be around their energy, to understand a bit better what they’ve gone through and just to be a part of making a positive change in society. I hope to do many more clinics. That was a very small one and I’m hoping to do some really big ones after the Olympic Games,” added Le Clos who has his sights set on competing at a fourth Olympics in Paris this year.
“I have some big plans for swimming in South Africa going forward. Hopefully we can get some more sponsors on board. But this is only the beginning and I’m very excited about the Midmar Mile coming up in a few weeks’ time. I’ll be racing at the world champs at the time so I want to wish all the swimmers all the best, thanking everyone for all the support, thanking my team for the continuous support and a big thank you to Wayne [Riddin, Race Director] for everything he’s done.
“I think this is a big year for me, inside and outside the water so you can expect a lot more things after the Olympics – more hands-on things with me and my foundation.”
The Chad le Clos Foundation was started in 2018 with the mission to create a safe environment for all South Africans to enjoy South Africa’s magnificent waterways by implementing sustainable drowning prevention programmes nationally.
This is done through awareness programmes, training for coaches and swimmers, upskilling of teachers, development of products that assist in flotation and learning to swim in order to create a safe environment, and the ongoing development of programmes that are specific to South Africa’s requirements.
Speaking to the group of Seals swimmers in December, Le Clos said: “Preparation is key, going forward. But the most important thing you need to have, especially the younger guys, is having a dream. Because everything starts with a dream. When I was younger all I had was a dream, all I wanted to do was go to the Olympics, make the national team, make my team proud, make my coach proud and make my family proud. But whatever you’re doing it for, for the young guys, it’s all about having fun.
“When you get a bit older – 15-16 – that age I started to get a bit more serious, I was moving up in the ranks, training with the senior squad, working more on my fly, on my technique, working more on my endurance, starting to improve my turns and starts, all those things come into play when you get older. So first enjoy yourself and then when you get older just focus on the next step.”
Entries for the 2024 aQuellé Midmar Mile close on 25 January 2024. Those still planning to enter can do so on the race website, www.midmarmile.co.za There is one more official seeding swim before the event, which takes place at Prime View Adventure & Leisure in Midrand on 20 and 21 January. More information is also available on the aQuellé Midmar Mile website