Bok swimmer does it for the poor kids

LONG HAUL: Julian Taylor after his feat of endurance. © Unknown.
LONG HAUL: Julian Taylor after his feat of endurance. © Unknown.

Springbok swimmer Julian Taylor, who completed a gruelling 20km fund-raising swim in under five hours, says he would do it again.

Taylor, who was raising funds for the Danganya Primary School in Umgababa, took to the shark-invested waters on Friday in freezing conditions to raise funds for the rundown school. Luckily he did not encounter any Zambezi, great white or tiger sharks that are known to frequent the South Coast sea.

The school caught Julian's attention because of its state of disrepair.

"It broke my heart to see the children suffer and as a sportsman I wanted to make a difference," Taylor said.

He said he saw children walk long distances to the broken down school. They are squashed into the classrooms - 120 to a room the size of a small bedroom.

Talking about his gruelling race on Friday he said it was one of the hardest he had undertaken".

"The first one-and-a-half hours were easy but then the current switched and I was swimming against the current for the remaining distance."

Taylor said pledges had come in thick and fast and we "raised more than R100 000. We also had offers of supplies and material and it is just unbelievable."

Taylor said R750 000 was needed to begin rebuilding the school that is almost 30 years old and serves 300 pupils.

"The children here are poor, but come rain or shine they are at school for an education. And they just smile and play in a mud pit of a playground."