Marie Claire magazine, Swimming South Africa (SwimSA) and Citadel Wealth Management have announced the ‘Get the Girls to Gold’ programme, aimed at raising funds for eight promising, young female swimmers to prepare them for qualifying for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Summer Olympics.
Launched on Wednesday, 17 July at Virgin Active Bryanston, ‘Get the Girls to Gold’ is endorsed by SwimSA, who identified the girls for the programme and will be responsible for managing the funds and expenses for their preparation in qualifying for the 2016 Olympics. CEO of SwimSA Shaun Adriaanse says, “If we get two female medals in 2016, we’d be happy, as we would have increased our total number of medals from female swimmers over the last eight years by 200 per cent.”
The girls identified for the programme are Ayanda Maphumulo (13), Jamie Reynolds (15), Erin Gallagher (14), Marlies Ross (15), Khwezi Duma (11), Nathania van Niekerk (14), Rita Naude (15) and Erin Anderson (14)
“It started a year ago with a timeous comment of Ryk Neethling,” says Aspasia Karras, editor of Marie Claire South Africa. “Ryk explained back then that there was a need to help girls achieve Olympic greatness and that it was the fervent desire of Graham Hill (Olympic coach and the man who guided Chad le Clos into the national heart and to gold) to set up a project that would do just that.”
Also supporting this initiative is HSH Princess Charlene of Monaco. In a world-exclusive in the August issue, Marie Claire editor Aspasia Karras discusses Princess Charlene’s passion for local talent and her wish to see SA female swimmers excel on the world stage.
“My foundation (the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation) is based on helping children, and I hand-pick projects that are close to my heart and home. I still come home and do my bit. I believe that it’s what we do – our actions – that should make a difference. We need to instil the values that are important for future generations, and above all we have to show boys how to respect women.”
“It is important that these girls in turn become roles models for other girls. It is the first step, if we get these girls to Rio successfully, for other girls also to aspire to be champions,” says HSH Princess Charlene, who also features on the covers of Marie Claire.
“We are absolutely delighted to have Princess Charlene’s support,” says Karras. “Not only her, but our male Olympic swimmers (Ryk Neethling, Chad le Clos and Cameron van der Burg) are also reaching out to help a new generation of female swimmers achieve. A team effort worth two covers; for the first time ever we have a split cover, with Princess Charlene on one and on the other, she shares it with our Olympic heros Ryk Neethling and Chad le Clos. The aim: to raise awareness for the programme.”
An account within the Citadel Philanthropy Foundation (CPF) has been created for the benefit of SwimSA and will be managed by Citadel Wealth Management. For more details on how to make donations towards the fund, see the August issue of Marie Claire or visit the ‘Get the Girls to Gold’ article on Marieclaire.co.za
“Donor-advisor funds are offered by leading financial-services providers around the world, but the CPF is the first donor-advised fund of its kind in South Africa,” says Philip Faure, Head of Philanthropy at Citadel. “The CPF enables individuals and corporates to donate money to the foundation, make recommendations on how their money is invested, as well as how it’s distributed to beneficiaries. In short, over the next four years the money donated towards this cause will be invested and managed, allowing the programme to do more good.”
Wednesday’s launch event was hosted proudly by Virgin Active South Africa, with Kauai providing all the refreshments. Citadel and Lucky Star were two of the first companies to make a donation towards the fund, giving the girls their first financial boost of R20 000.
For more information on the ‘Get the Girls to Gold’ go to: Marie Claire Website: Marieclaire.co.za Marie Claire on Facebook: Facebook.com/Marieclairesa Marie Claire on Twitter: @marieclaire_sa (#MCGetGirlsGold)
(With editing by gsport)