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Royal swim for charity

Jane Hardy and Arafat Gatabazi swam around the Castle of Good Hope’s moat.


UK resident Jane Hardy is attempting to swim around 50 castles around the world before her 50th birthday in January.

After having already completed swims around the moats of six castles, including the Litchestein Castle in Hout Bay, Ms Hardy ticked one more off her list on Friday November 4, when she swam the moat of the Castle of Good Hope.

But swimming around the Castle, something which has never been done before, was a much more important event as this particular challenge was also in support of a Green Point NGO.

The organisation is looking to raise funds to support an ECD centre in Khayelitsha by buying a container and refurbishing it for the children to use as a classroom.

On the day of the swim, representatives of Breadline Africa, Ms Hardy husband Ian and some of her friends came out to support her.

Joining Ms Hardy in the swim for charity was Table View resident Arafat Gatabazi, who has been through the Breadline Africa programme and wanted to help raise funds for the cause.

“I lived in a children’s home while I was growing up. Marion (Wagner) was a volunteer at Breadline Africa at the time, and she was like a mother to me,” said Mr Gatabazi.

He said Ms Wagner, who is now a director at the organisation, also taught him to swim.

He connected with Ms Hardy last year when they both completed the Robben Island to Cape Town Freedom Swim.

Mr Hardy told the CapeTowner they came to Cape Town for a holiday and wherever they go, his wife tries to swim around a castle. “She has ticked one more off her list now. Jane wants to leave a footprint in Cape Town,” he said.

As Ms Hardy and Mr Gatabazi jumped into the water at the right side of the Castle, the small group cheered, waved and ran around the moat, trying to follow the pair and capture videos and pictures.

After the swim, Ms Hardy and Mr Gatabazi said it wasn’t as bad as they had thought it would be.

“The water was great. It was warmer than we expected. And it was cleaner,” said Ms Hardy.

“We thought it would be smelly or dirty, but it wasn’t as bad,” said Mr Gatabazi. Ms Hardy said: This castle (swim) is the most important. Besides my birthday, I’m aiming to raise funds for Breadline Africa. I want to put up a container school in Khayelitsha. This swim was to raise awareness for Breadline as well, and to support the work they do.”

Edna Titus, the donor liaison officer at Breadline Africa, said she was inspired by the initiative.

“It touches you in so many ways when people try to help those who are struggling. We are grateful to Jane and Arafat.

She said the money raised by Ms Hardy’s sponsors would go towards purchasing the shipping container, which costs about R20 000.

“Then we still have to convert it into what is needed. It does not come cheap,” said Ms Titus.

The CEO of the Castle of Good Hope, Calvyn Gilfellan said that the water in the Castle’s moat comes from the mountain, so it is clean. “It comes in very pure. However, when it comes to the castle, it is exposed to the city, and that’s where the problems come in.”

He said the Castle has started using the water from the moat to irrigate the lawns inside the building. After braving the fish and murky moat water, the swimmers indulged in some cake, as Ms Hardy usually does after each swim. So far, the campaign has raised almost R5 000. To donate to Breadline Africa, or to get an update on the amount raised, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jane-hardy6 To follow Jade Hardy’s journey as she tries to reach her goal of swimming around 50 castles before her 50th birthday in January, visit her Facebook page called 50 Years, 50 Swims, 50 Castles, 50 Cakes

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