Icy Atlantic swim to mark Women's Day

Monday, August 8, 2011

Pretoria - A Women's Day swim in the chilly Atlantic Ocean is scheduled for tomorrow in a fund-raising race for women with cerebral palsy.

As South Africa marks the 55th anniversary of Women's Day on Tuesday, a group of 50 or more open water swimmers will descend on Camps Bay beach in the Cadiz Women's Day Swim.

"[The swimmers], mostly wearing only Speedo costumes, are expected to race 4km in relay in a sea temperature of 10 -13 degrees Celsius. A huge swell is predicted, making conditions even more challenging," said the organisation.

The Cadiz Women's Day Swim is part of the Cadiz Swim Series, a host of cold water sea swims around Cape Town, which promotes swimming and raise funds for good causes.

As part of commemorating the day, each relay team must include at least one woman.

World renowned ice-swimmer and Cadiz CEO, Ram Barkai, who in 2008 swam in the 1øC waters of Antarctica, will participate in the relay. Cadiz is a financial services business.

The swimmers' entry fees as well as a donation from the Cadiz Foundation will make up R10 000, which will be donated to the Western Cape Cerebral Palsy Association (WCCPA).

The association's CEO, Hillary Lane, said the money will be used to treat 100 women a day at the Ratanga Junction theme park.

"Most of these women have never been there so this will be a huge treat for them. We are incredibly grateful to the Cadiz Swim Series," she said.

The swim is expected to get underway at 10 am.

On 9 August 1956, about 20 000 women staged a march to the Union Buildings to protest against the proposed amendments to the Urban Areas Act, commonly known as the pass laws of 1950.

Unveiling the programme for the month of August at the end of July, Minister for Women, Children and People with Disabilities, Lulu Xingwana, said the economic empowerment for South Africa will be the focal point of celebrations.

"We will use Women's Month to highlight the economic empowerment of women as a critical element of success for South Africa's efforts to achieve the targets on economic growth, including the creation of five million jobs within the next 10 years, as outlined in the New Growth Plan," she said at the time.

Meanwhile in Cape Town, the Sport, Recreation and Amenities Department will host a 5km beach walk tomorrow. The walk will start at the Strand Lifesaving Club. It will begin at 10 am.

Another 5km fun walk is scheduled from the Khayelitsha Multi-purpose Centre to the Mitchells Plain Family and Youth Centre in Tafelsig. The event is open to all girls and women.

In partnership with the District Sport Council, the department will host a senior netball tournament in Atlantis. The tournament will be held at the Robinvale sports field.

"Only 11 percent of girls in South Africa play sport. This low percentage is the result of a number of social, cultural and political factors. These recreational and sports programmes and events seek to tip the scale and ensure that women can empower themselves through sport," said the City's Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services, Tandeka Gqada.