WATCH: Natalie du Toit takes on Midmar Mile for local foundation

SUPPORTING THE TEDDY BEAR FOUNDATION: Deon van Niekerk, Natalie du Toit, Gino Mazza, Armas Ferreira and Stephan Cilliers enjoying dinner at Gino’s. *Absent from the team, Arthur Blake and Myles Sinclair.

FEBRUARY is the second month of the year but for some, it means more than just that – it’s the month for the Midmar Mile – the biggest open water swim in the world, which is held at the Midmar Dam just outside Howick, in KZN.

A team of swimmers, who have swum for The Teddy Bear Foundation for the last few years to raise money through donations for this very worthy cause, want to up their game this year, and what better way than by welcoming Olympic gold medallist, Natalie du Toit to the team!

“We are thrilled to welcome Natalie on board and this year our aim is to raise R100 000 to help children through their journey of healing,” said Deon van Niekerk, one of the team members.


Natalie became aware of The Teddy Bear Foundation through her good friend, Jenna Clifford, who is the advisor to SportsPodium (, who in turn introduced her to Dalene Bishop, the donor liaison officer at The Teddy Bear Foundation. One thing led to another and Natalie, who is passionate about children, made the decision to join the team.

The team consists of Natalie du Toit, Deon van Niekerk, Armas Ferreira, Arthur Blake, Myles Sinclair and Stephan Cilliers, who will be swimming the Midmar Mile on Saturday, February 10.

The Teddy Bear Foundation originated in 1986 in response to an urgent need for medical examinations for sexually abused children. From there it has grown into a fully-fledged service for abused children which includes forensic medical examinations, forensic assessments, counselling, psychological testing and more recently, a diversion programme for youth sexual offenders.

“Our mission is to minimise the secondary harm to children and their families when they enter the child protection system by providing expertise, information and support in order to make their journey a healing one. Each journey includes a medical examination, forensic assessment, therapy and court preparation, which all cost money,” added Dalene.

“Please support our swim to rescue abused children from the deep waters they find themselves in, by enabling The Teddy Bear Foundation to continue to provide the specialised support services for victims of abuse,” the team said.

“The BackaBuddy system enables you to make a donation easily; it really only takes a minute of your time and will make all the difference to the children at The Teddy Bear Foundation,” said Deon.

Local business owner Gino Mazza invited the team and guests to enjoy a meal at his restaurant to discuss the final details and said he will be behind the team all the way. “It’s fantastic to see such passion in the team and I wish them all the very best.”

If you would like to make a difference to an abused child’s life, support the team of swimmers with a sponsorship for the foundation by emailing Dalene on [email protected] or alternatively, deposit a donation directly into their bank account at Nedbank: Teddy Bear Clinic for Abused Children; account number 1944183361; branch code 194405; branch name: Parktown. Please include your name and Midmar as a reference. Alternatively, you can visit:

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Julie Maule
News Editor

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