2019 ADReach Ocean Heroes Media Release

 No. OC1901

26 Aug 2019

Embargo: None

Written by; Dave Macleod


ADreach Ocean Heroes making a Difference

Durban – With the 2019 edition of the ADreach Ocean Heroes OceanMan Series looming large on Sunday 8 September, the lifesavers have already shown their commitment to creating change in local communities by conducting a learn to swim programme for underprivileged children from Inanda.

The programme, intended to improve the children’s confidence and skills in the water, consisted of 10 learn to swim sessions at Reddam House Umhlanga. They were coached by experienced swim instructor Hayley Duncan and Durban-based ADreach Ocean Heroes athlete Mthembeni Mkhize.

The children were extremely nervous in their first learn to swim session and were reluctant to enter the water. However, they rapidly gained confidence with professional guidance and started to enjoy their time in the water.

An important objective of the learn to swim programme is not just to enjoy the sessions but to have a lasting positive effect – and this is exactly what has been achieved. Baphelele Mkhize, one of the children attending the learn to swim sessions, now has renewed focus and fulfilment, says his caregiver.

Like many of the attending children, Baphelele has faced numerous hardships. He and his brother are currently living with his grandmother because his mother passed away last year. To have something constructive that gives a sense of confidence and accomplishment is important, explains his caregiver.

The ADreach Ocean Heroes also look to inspire though racing and will be accommodating these children from Inanda at North Beach on Sunday 8 September to watch the ADreach Ocean Heroes compete. The children will witness South Africa’s best surf lifesavers race in a tough format consisting of surf swimming, surf ski, running and board paddling.

Title sponsors ADreach Group/Masakhe Media are committed to not only uplifting business but the communities in which they operate and the environment, too.

For the past three months, they have been the sole sponsors of a river clean-up team based at Blue Lagoon. The team of six members from the local Briardene community has concentrated on the “plastic islands” of waste ever since the floods washed tonnes of debris and litter into the Umgeni river estuary.

“Working on exposed sand islands and deep into the mangroves, the team has steadily collected more than 2,000 bags of waste, which we can proudly say will not land up in the ocean," said ADreach Group Founder and CEO Brad Fisher.

“With the landfill crisis and the disturbing amount of plastic that gets dumped into the ocean we need to acknowledge that South Africa is facing a plastic epidemic. South Africa needs a plan, and business, local communities and government need to come together to make a difference for the sake of our future.”

The Blue Lagoon pilot project has been so successful that ADreach Group has signed on for another six-month term.

ENDS

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ADreach Ocean Heroes
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ADreach Ocean Heroes athlete Mthembeni Mkhize teaching Maduna Lubanzi Hectorsen to swim in Inanda as part of the ADreach Ocean Heroes programme. Wade Krieger/
Gameplan Media

Over two thousand bags of rubbish were collected by the Briardene community members as part of the ADreach Group's Umgeni River Mouth clean-up that is supports the ADreach Ocean Heroes programme. Supplied/
Gameplan Media

The six members of the Briardene community members (from left) Teboho Kikine, Sephiwe Rakgabale, Emmanuel Dlomo, Maxwell Ngema, Ikaneng Tshehlana and Siphelele Qhinga that collected two thousand bags of litter from the Umgeni Estuary at the ADreach Group's Umgeni River Mouth clean-up that is part of the ADreach Ocean Heroes programme. Supplied/
Gameplan Media

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