Snyman family prepare to take the plunge for a second time

Herald Reporter

THE Snyman family are set to make a big splash at this year's Spar River Mile, when all seven members take to the water for the 90th edition of the Nelson Mandela Bay swimming festival on February 15 and 16.

It will be the second outing at the Sundays River event for the Somerset East farming family.

"We have set a goal to try and do it every year until all of us can swim the full mile," mother Suzanne Snyman, 36, said.

"We love spending quality time together and this is a lovely family event where we can be together and enjoy the excitement of it all." It had been a huge challenge for them to take on South Africa's oldest open-water swim last year, but that it had been a great experience, she said.

"Our daughters Liani, Zaanri and Inge are competitive swimmers – they swim with the Aquabear Club – but this was our first open-water swim."

The five Snyman children, who range in age from five to 14, attend Gill Primary School and Gill College.

"We are so privileged to have a pool at the school where we can practise, and we also train in a dam on the farm," Suzanne said.

Last year, she and husband Petri, 40, son Pierre, 14, Zaanri, 12, and Liani, 10, swam the feature races, while Inge, 7, took part in the Kids Across the River race in her age group.

"I've entered Inge for that event again, while our youngest, Hennie, will also swim across the river."

She said they expected to be able to swim the full distance as a family within the next four years.

Spar Eastern Cape marketing manager Abri Swart said the Snymans exemplified the retailer's own brand values.

"We believe in promoting a healthy, active lifestyle through our events and encouraging families to spend quality time together."

The weekend festival starts at Cannonville on the Saturday with the fun run, off-road cycle, half-mile swim and wetsuit mile events. It continues the following day with the kids' swimming races, including one for children with special needs.

The event culminates with the two feature races – the Spar Ladies' Mile and Spar Men's Mile – on the Sunday afternoon.

A variety of entertainment will be on offer, including food and craft stalls.

Entrance to the festival is free for children younger than 10 and participants wearing the race wristband. All other spectators pay R20.

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