South African Para surfer Similo Dlamini will be among the thousands of swimmers who return to Midmar Dam from 8-11 February next year for the 2024 aQuellé Midmar Mile.
Dlamini, who has a congenital condition that means her right leg is shorter than the left and she needs to use a prosthetic leg, has twice competed in the ISA World Para Surfing Championship. But each February she makes sure she’s back at the renowned KwaZulu-Natal dam to take part in the world’s largest open water swimming event.
“It’s becoming one of my annual ‘retreats’,” reckons the KwaMashu-born adaptive surfer, who will be taking part in the Midmar Mile for the fourth time.
Speaking about her training, Dlamini explained: “I swim about two to three times a week and compete in the Dolphin Miles… Time in the water is always good and this improves my paddling which is important in surfing.”
The Midmar Mile is an event that attracts a vast array of swimmers each year – from novices to Olympians, young to old and those who are differently abled.
Speaking after completing this year’s race, Dlamini reckoned: “Things like this where you see people get amazing times who are differently abled – this is so inspiring for me, to keep on coming back here and showing that we shouldn’t be put in a corner.
“Being differently abled doesn’t mean that you can’t do anything, just that you do things differently.”
As for those still deciding whether to take on the challenge, Dlamini added a word of motivation. “Give it a shot, be calm and just keep swimming. It’s just one stroke at a time.”
Entries for the 2024 aQuellé Midmar Mile are open. For more information on the event and the preceding seeding swims, head to www.midmarmile.co.za
Photo Caption: Entries for the 2024 aQuellé Midmar Mile are open, and South African para surfer Similo Dlamini will be among the thousands of swimmers who return to Midmar Dam from 8-11 February next year. Photo: Action Photo SA
Original Copy: Karien Jonckheere