neethling punts swimathon swap

RYK NEETHLING TRAINING AT ELLIS PARK.  PIC MARIANNE PRETORIUS.  07/01/2006. © THE TIMES
RYK NEETHLING TRAINING AT ELLIS PARK. PIC MARIANNE PRETORIUS. 07/01/2006. © THE TIMES

OLYMPIC gold medallist Ryk Neethling has urged the organisers of Swimming SA's 24 Hour Swimathon to consider switching the event to Durban.

OLYMPIC gold medallist Ryk Neethling has urged the organisers of Swimming SA's 24 Hour Swimathon to consider switching the event to Durban.

The inaugural event took place at Ellis Park swimming pool in Johannesburg at the weekend.

The event is aimed at raising awareness of water safety, while raising funds for the Learn to Swim programme.

Neethling told Sowetan after taking part that it was imperative to move the next event to Durban.

"We have more people drowning in the coastal areas, especially during the December holidays," he reasoned. "Staging the event in the coastal areas will send a clear message to thousands and thousands of holidaymakers and the community at large. It will also create awareness of water safety programmes."

Neethling, 33, who is based in Bloemfontein, won gold in the 4x100m freestyle relay at the Olympic games in Athens in 2004.

Some of the other Olympic stars who featured in the event included Mandy Loots, Chanelle van Wyk and Lyndon Ferns, as well as Olympic hopeful Thabang Moeketsane.

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