Support the Rhino Rehabilitation Centre
Conquering the Arch at the Moses Mabhida Stadium wearing the Standard diving dress of the early 1900 divers weighing 70 kgs
I immigrated to Durban, South Africa 7 years ago to live with my South African wife who I met in Durban, Joe Kools – 15 years ago whilst serving in the British Royal Navy.
I started my career in the Royal Navy as a Gunner and then became a Mine Clearance Diver.
I proposed to my wife in December 2008, and we started planning our wedding….. However, we could not agree on a venue. By chance while returning from an offshore diving job I saw the “Elephant whisperer” book by Lawrence Anthony in the Airport lounge. I initially hesitated to purchase this book and then felt a strong urge to buy it – in fact it turned out to be one of the best things I ever did – it has changed our lives for the better.
I read the book on a flight from work from Johannesburg and throughout that weekend.
I then planned a few days to Thula Thula Game reserve in Zululand thinking it would be a great break and also a good opportunity to check it out as a wedding venue.
My wife and I were not disappointed. Francoise and her staff gave us a five star welcome and we were treated like royalty.
There was something very unique and special about Thula Thula game reserve. After that weekend we decided to set the wedding venue at Thula Thula game reserve. By far the best decision we ever made.
After leaving Thula Thula, we drove away with something we had not expected to leave with…nothing in the boot of the car but something in our hearts and in our souls had been touched by the South African bush, the scents, the sounds and of course the Elephants and Rhinos that inhabited this magical place.
Having read this book and experiencing Thula Thula, I decided to do more to help raise funds and awareness for our endangered wildlife here in South Africa.
So from there I decided the best thing for me was to use my ability to do endurance events to raise funds for the Lawrence Anthony Earth Organisation. (www.earthorganization.org)
Last year, I ran along the beach from Durban Harbour to “Beach Bums” in Tongaat – 46 kms taking 6 hours. The funds raised were used for educational material – distributed around the rural settlements outside the game reserves. This leaflet assisted in the education of the local communities about the natural wealth and heritage that belongs to us all and how we must protect it.
Last year I spoke to Francoise about their initiative to build the first and only Rhino Rehabilitation centre here in KZN, South Africa and their need for funds.
I walked away wondering how can I help? What unique fundraising event could I do to help this worthy cause?
So I came up with the idea to walk over the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, South Africa – wearing the Standard diving dress of the early 1900’s diver’s weighing 70 kgs.
Breakdown of weight per item:
Siebi Gorman diving helmet, circa 1900’s – 21 kgs
Replica Siebi Gorman diving suit – 5 kgs
Chest and back weights -22 kgs (11 kgs each)
Siebi Gorman Knife & Sheath circa 1950’s – 1 kg
Siebi Gorman Torch circa 1950’s – 1kg
Lead soled diving boots – 20kgs a pair (10kgs each)
Total = 70 kgs
This event will be mentally and physically demanding and shall take me around 3-4 hours to complete.
I shall start to walk around the outside of the stadium from the Sky Cart to the base of the arch where I shall walk up the 106m high arch and the 500 steps to the top of the stadium.
Then take a few minutes to enjoy the 360º scenery of Durban on the viewing platform and then finally down the Sky cart to finish the challenge.
It sounds hard work and it will be hard work. But if you feel in your heart strongly enough about something then you will get through anything.
I have started on a very different training routine than I normally do, to build up my leg muscles and shoulders.
My training routine of 2-3hrs per day entails skipping, walking up and down stairs with 70kgs on my back, squats, press ups, swimming for cardio vascular and breathing techniques.
My reasons for doing this is so that I can raise funds towards The Lawrence Anthony Earth Organization to help build the first Rhino Rehabilitation centre in Zululand, KZN, South Africa.
Along with much needed awareness in the plight of our Rhino’s and Elephants in South Africa and the wildlife trafficking that is affecting the whole of the African continent.
Sometimes you have to do something a little different to get people’s attention. To get them excited and talking about the event and what it is for and give them the opportunity to dream and see that anything is possible.
You can follow my efforts via Facebook “Tusks and Horns” and I invite you to please Share my event to all your friends and together we can make the difference that is needed to help those that need it most and become part of something special.
Come along and watch this mad Englishman shuffling along at a snail’s pace…while you eat at one of the many restaurants at the Moses Mabhida Stadium.
I thank you for your support in my endeavours and I shall keep you all posted during the build up to the day.
Please give your support by donating via the website links below and enter the reference “Diver” on the drop down button.
You can also go on to the Thula Thula website and Donate there, also using the “Diver” reference option.
TEO nonprofit registration 2004/026715/08
Public Beneficiary Organization (PBO) 930033558