EIGHT-YEAR-OLD Daniel Brussouw is one of the youngest swimmers participating in this weekend's Spar River Mile at Sundays River. Daniel, his 10-year-old brother Alex and their father, Steven – all of Mill Park, Port Elizabeth – are among the more than 1000 swimmers preparing to participate in the 89th edition of the swim, dubbed Africa's oldest open water swimming event.
Daniel said yesterday he was happy to be competing in the mile.
"It is my first time swimming in this competition and I'm not really nervous," he said.
The Grade 3 Grey Junior pupil swims twice a week. Alex, who is in Grade 5, will be swimming his second River Mile.
Their father, an IT manager, said he was very proud of his children.
"They asked if they could also swim in the event. They also practise waterpolo with me," he said.
The River Mile is being held at the Cannonville slipway area along the Sundays River. The day's programme includes a "kid's zone", 5km fun trail run and the half-mile, which forms part of the Rotary (PE South) Global Swimarathon End Polio Campaign.
The swimarathon will include swimming, doggy-paddling, drifting or floating on an incoming tide ,"which adds up to an easy swim with the current," said Noelene Jorgensen, president of Rotary PE South. Entry for the swimarathon will cost R60, with proceeds going towards the polio campaign. Swimmers can also be sponsored.
"Every participant will contribute to at least three children receiving polio vaccines in our country and countries such as Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria which are still battling this devastating disease," Jorgensen said.
There will also be food, craft and exhibition stalls, a beer garden and entertainment provided by Centrestage's Gino Fabbri, African Drumbeat, Anton Calitz and the Clarendon Park Primary School band.
Entrance to the festival will cost R20 per day. Children 12 years old and younger enter for free.
Entries can still be made online until tomorrow evening, thereafter at Kings Market on Thursday or at the event on the weekend.
For more information, go to www.rivermile.co.za