20 August 2017 – 14:20 BY FARREN COLLINS
Great White sharks do not worry 10-year-old ju-jitsu student Abriella Bredell.
Jellyfish will be more of a concern when she tries to become the youngest person ever to complete the Robben Island Channel open water swim off Cape Town.
Bredell will take on the 7.6km swim‚ through a busy shipping lane and in 12 degree Celsius water‚ from Big Bay to the historic island in December. The crossing is considered one of the most treacherous open water swims in the world.
The Grade five pupil from Victory Christian School in Jeffrey’s Bay‚ who learnt to swim at the age of two‚ is undergoing rigorous training with her coach and swimming partner Brenton Williams.
“I train six times a week and love the open water‚” said Bredell‚ who will be 11 years and three months old during the crossing.
“I have also started to surf in cold water‚ so think I will be able to swim to Robben Island this December.
“The water here does get very cold in winter. It gets to about 11 degrees‚ so it gets as cold as Cape Town in winter which is helping me to prepare.”
Bredell completed her first open water swim at the age of seven. She has since done the 3km Oceana swim‚ the Peer to Pubs and completed numerous 5km swims as part of ColdWater Classic in Jeffrey’s Bay.
But it is not only her love for the open water where “you’re not restricted” that motivates her to complete the iconic swim. She is hoping to raise R2-million for the Red Cross Children’s Hospital through crowdfunding donations.
“This is my first time crowdfunding and I really enjoy it. Just knowing that you can save someone’s life is awesome‚” she said.
By Sunday afternoon she had raised nearly R46‚000.
Marketing officer for crowdfunding platform BackaBuddy‚ Zane Groenewald‚ said sporting events created a perfect opportunity for people to crowdfund‚ and “a number of important causes have become increasingly popular” through it.
The current record for the youngest person to complete the Robben Island swim is held by Enya van Niekerk‚ who was 12-years-old when she made the crossing last year. More than 500 people have completed the swim.