Kim braves Melkbos, Robben Island swim for charity

Kim Prytz is planning to swim from Melkbosstrand to Robben Island and back. Picture: Supplied.

Kim Prytz, a 48-year-old adventure swimmer and music teacher from Plumstead, hopes to become the first person in the world to swim to Robben Island from Melkbosstrand and back on Thursday.

She aims to do the 20.5km swim in 12 hours to raise money and awareness for the Goedgedacht Trust, which helps rural communities along the Cape West Coast.

While freestyle is the preferred stroke for most swimmers attempting this swim to Robben Island, Ms Prytz will be swimming breaststroke. It will be her seventh swim to the island using this stroke but the first time swimming there and back.

The Cape Long Distance Swimming Association confirms that no-one has completed a double Melkbos swim and done so using breaststroke.

“This is a very challenging swim and doing it breaststroke is another challenge in itself with the currents and the temperature of the Cape Town waters. We wish Kim well with her swim and look forward to following her journey on the day,” said Shoneé Cornelissen, the chair of the Cape Long Distance Swimming Association.

Ms Prytz, who will turn 49 in May, teaches singing and piano. She said she incorporated her daily practice of karate, qi gong and tai chi into her training.

“I train karate early in the morning with my teacher, Sensei Bruce van Rensburg and Sensei Bradley Park, as well as a group called the Bullets. I train tai chi and qi gong too with Shirfu Dr Michael Lan. I also run most days and do WarriorFit training. On the weekends I do ocean swimming. Sometimes this is with my sister, Jo, and just before the race, I do a big training swim in Hermanus.”

Asked how she endured long hours in cold water, she said: “I don’t see it as beating the cold. I do not resist the cold. I let it be. And I also practise a meditation where I pretend my chest is on fire – that helps immensely. Also, intermittently, I do feel really cold, but I let this go, and it passes.”

Her regular visits to Malmesbury were the reason she had chosen the Goedgedacht Trust as the beneficiary for her latest adventure, she said.

“The work the trust does with rural children is exemplary, and I couldn’t imagine a more valid and connected cause for me than supporting an organisation dedicated to peace and prosperity, which is what the world needs now more than ever.”

Valerie Govender, the trust’s marketing manager said: “We are delighted that Kim has chosen Goedgedacht as her charity of choice as she swims this gruelling course. Our Path Onto Prosperity centres are not just beacons of hope in the rural communities of the Swartland but catalysts for a brighter future too. As we celebrate 30 years, we are so very grateful for friends like Kim who support our work and allow us to make a difference where it matters most.”

Ms Prytz’s Prosperity Swim will be supported by Big Bay Events, which will monitor the swim and record it for posterity.

Of utmost importance to Ms Prytz is her message that with the right mindset, anything is possible.

To find out more about how you can support Goedgedacht Trust, visit goedgedacht.org.

Kim Prytz rises at 4am daily to begin a gruelling training routine. Picture: Supplied.