Working to save lives and prevent unnecessary deaths from drowning: Mr Gavin Varejes, President of The Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation SA, has been made an honor-ary Vice-Patron of Lifesaving South Africa. This is due to the tireless work that the Prin-cess Charlene of Monaco Foundation has done in the country to promote water safety and teaching children to swim. The appointment follows an event where Lifesaving South Africa President Dylan Tommy announced Her Serene Highness Princess Charlene of Monaco's status as Patron at an event in Durban on the 26th of July 2017.
The Foundation, which was established in 2012, has been active in SA since 2013 and has reached over 300 000 people since it’s inception. It was founded because Her Serene Highness is a former Olympic swimmer who soon realised the critical importance of teach-ing families water safety skills. She has used her influence and passion for philanthropy to promote this cause in a number of countries across the world. Varejes, who is a success-ful SA businessman and entrepreneur, became involved due to his numerous other hu-manitarian efforts, many of which are linked to the use of sport for social upliftment, such as his position as president of the SA Rugby Legends Association.
During the event in Durban, Varejes announced the distribution of 200 rescue boards, val-ued in excess of R2 million, from the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation SA to Life-saving SA. The boards, which were sponsored by Cell C and Richmark Holdings, of which Varejes is the Executive Chairman, will go to every LSA-affiliated lifesaving club in South Africa.
Varejes says, “We are confident that the new partnership between the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation South Africa and Lifesaving South Africa will help to not only save lives but also to promote the fun and safety aspects of learning to swim amongst SA communities. We are excited for what the future will bring!"
Lifesaving South Africa President Dylan Tommy and SASCOC President Gideon Sam both expressed gratitude to HSH Princess Charlene and Mr. Varejes for their contribution to raising the profile of lifesaving in South Africa, both on a social level and as a sport.