Mally Richards, A Diamond In The Rough Water

Mally Richards, A Diamond In The Rough Water

The traditional gift for a 60th anniversary is a diamond.

Diamond comes from the Greek word adamas which means unconquerable and enduring.

Which is exactly what the incredible Mally Richards is. Richards will take part in his 60th SPAR River Mile this coming February as he extends his world longevity record for participation in a single open water swimming event.

The SPAR River Mile is Africa’s oldest open water swimming event that started in 1924 in Redhouse on the Swartkops River in South Africa.

The 2013 edition will be part of a two-day celebration called the SPAR River Mile Festival on February 23rd and 24th that includes a 5 km run, triathlon, Second Skins wetsuit Mile, Disabled Mile and a family half-mile that is part of the global Rotary Swimarathon. It also includes the Stormforce Kids races across the river for children 12 years and under, the SPAR Ladies Mile and the professional SPAR Men’s Mile with a prize pool of R28000. “This is one of our premier events which we host on behalf of Eastern Province Aquatics and this, being the 89th anniversary of the River Mile, will see the start of some fantastic enhancements to the weekend as we prepare for next year’s milestone,” said event organiser Michael Zoetmulder of Zports.

Legend of the River Mile, the 80-year-old Richards of Jeffreys Bay, is getting ready to line up for his 60th River Mile. “I have been swimming since I was a boy and this is what I enjoy the most. I am hoping to do this till I die,” Richards said. The Uitenhage-born pensioner started swimming for fun at 14, while still a pupil at Muir Collage and swam his first River Mile in 1947.

Whether the water has been rough or tranquil, Richards has been there.

A true diamond in the rough for the past 60 years.

Copyright © 2012 by Open Water Source
Steven Munatones