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Learn to Swim Gala Honours Late Founder’s Dream



Learn to Swim Gala

The Learn to Swim Gala, organised by Lara Nortjè of Making Waves Swim School, witnessed an impressive turnout of over 300 swimmers at Pinnacle College on September 25. The event was a tribute to the late Cally Passmore, founder of the Rynfield-based swimming school, who passed away in May.

Passmore’s vision was to teach every child how to swim regardless of age or financial status. The gala aimed to fulfil her dream, and it did so magnificently, with swimmers of all ages coming together to celebrate her legacy.

Lara Nortjè expressed her overwhelming emotions: “I feel overwhelmed and lucky. I hope Cally is proud. It was her dream and what she wanted. We wanted to make her dream come true. We hope she’s looking down at us with pride.”

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The event drew 294 swimmers and 10 parents with babies, emphasising the importance of swimming as a life-saving skill. Nortjè highlighted the tragic drowning incidents and stressed that early swimming education could be instrumental in preventing such accidents.


The swimming gala was beside the picturesque Bullfrog Pan, featuring students from seven swimming schools, including Ennerdale, Brakpan, and Kempton Park. Swimmers competed in various disciplines in the eight-lane, 25-meter pool.

Young Caleb Vandeberg from Kempton Park expressed his deep passion for swimming, stating, “Swimming is my life. I love the water and winning competitions.” He aspires to follow in the footsteps of renowned swimmers like Chad le Clos and Cameron van der Bergh, aiming for Olympic and FINA World Championships gold medals for South Africa.

Lara Nortjè extended her gratitude to sponsors, including Fine Line Lasering, Farrarmere Hair Bar, and Pinnacle College, for their support in making the event a resounding success. The gala celebrated swimming and paid tribute to a remarkable woman who played a significant role in Benoni’s swimming and social scene.

Source: Swimming gala a success

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Picture: Supplied by Benoni City Ctimes

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