In a lavish event at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Durban, the Patron of SA Lifesaving was chosen to be Princess Charlene of Monaco. Lifesaving enthusiasts like the President of Lifesaving SA, Dylan Tommy and the President of the SA faction of the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation Gavin Varejes attended the event.
Water Safety is Priority for the Princess
With over two decades spent in the water as an Olympic swimmer representing South Africa, being selected as the SA Lifesaving is a highly appropriate designation for Princess Charlene. As a young girl growing up in South Africa, she discovered that she loves the water and started swimming competitively. For 20 years Princess Charlene spent her days in swimming pools and eventually represented her home country at the Olympics in Sydney in 2000. With water safety in mind the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation was started, and over 300,000 individuals across the globe have since been positively impacted by it. The foundation’s objective is to teach children basic water safety skills and to make people aware of the dangers of water.
Rescue Boards Donated by Gavin Varejes
As the President of the South African chapter of the Princess Charlene of Monaco, Gavin Varejes made the announcement that the foundation would donate 200 rescue boards to lifesaving clubs affiliated with Lifesaving SA. The substantial donation is one of many endorsements undertaken by Varejes who is known for his liberal contributions to South African sport and lifesaving. According to the businessman and former lifesaver the affiliation and goodwill between the two organisations will act as encouragement for different organisations to work together towards common goals. Corporate giants like the mobile phone network Cell C and Richmark Holdings share this sentiment and provide unprecedented backing.
What do you get when you combine South Africa’s favourite mobile phone network with great weather, great surfers and awesome waves? A world-class surfing event of course! The excitement is mounting and surfing enthusiasts will hopefully soon be making their way to sunny Durban for the Cell C Goodwave Surfing event which is presented by South African Surfing Legends and sanctioned as a speciality event by the World Surf League.
Stuff Legends Are Made of
Founded by legendary South African surfer Barry Wolins, the event is an all-out competition focused on challenging the technical ability, stamina and determination of contestants with their eye on R100,000 in prize money. With a sudden death format surfers will compete in four-man heats until one person is left to claim the prize. Wolins is no newbie to the South African surfing scene. He has been taking on waves for almost five decades and is using his expertise now to mentor talented young surfers in the country with the help of the South African Surfing Legends organisation. The organisation believes that this kind of skillset and passion has great potential to positively impact young South African surfers to do their country proud.
An Exclusive Contest Made Possible by Gavin Varejes and Barry Wolins
What makes the Goodwave surfing event unique is that it is only held when the weather conditions are ideal for big swells. The date is only set when weather experts give the go-ahead and surfers are only given 48 hours’ notice before the event takes place. It is also by invitation only and this year a total of 64 South African surfers have received such an invitation – and eclectic mix of 32 competitors, and 32 alternates. Some are well-known names in South African surfing and others are freshly discovered talent. According to Gavin Varejes the event is a fine example of how surfing legends can promote local surfing and keep the South African flag flying with honour.
As chairman of Richmark holdings and as a leading philanthropist, Gavin Varejes certainly knows how to get things done. Central to his many achievements is a remarkable capacity to bring people together for desirable projects, and it is this quality that is enabling Varejes to foster the growth of rugby in an apparently unlikely location, Lithuania. The world of South African rugby is currently involved in a major exchange program that will impart traditional skills and knowledge to the developing sport in Lithuania. Varejes is playing an important part in this program, particularly in its assistance to accomplished club Enerstena.
The Motivations behind Gavin Varejes’s Sports Philanthropy
The whole endeavour is close to Varejes’s heart as a South African patriot, as the son of a Lithuanian father and as a sports fan with an unsurpassed love and knowledge of rugby. Varejes has long believed in the potential of sport as an agent of human progress, and this led him to co-found the South African rugby Legends charity back in 2001. That organization is now the foremost sports charity in South Africa, and its success reflects Varejes’s firm belief that his beloved country, having overcome the trials of its difficult history, has a great deal to offer other nations in both material and creative terms.
Realistic Hope for the Future
Varejes approaches the task of developing rugby in Lithuania with real passion and with a strong belief that the country can make its mark in the world of rugby before long. To support his conviction, he cites the example of Argentina, which is now an established force in a game it only began to play at a serious level in the late 1960s early 1970s. Varejes also points out that, despite its small population, Lithuania is second only to the United States in international basketball. When it has the same effective structure in place that underpinned its successes in basketball, he observes, Lithuanian rugby can enjoy similar triumphs.