School of Management, Information Technology and Governance academic, Dr Thea van der Westhuizen and masters student Mr Wade Krieger will contribute to marine conservation, promotion of youth development and awareness creation on the importance of ocean sport racing to the community through participating in the Ocean Heroes happening at North Beach, Durban on 4 December, however if better conditions prevail it will be on 3 December.
Ocean Heroes, an initiative founded by Krieger in 2014 encompasses elite ocean athletes participating in swimming, running, ocean paddling and board paddling thus creating awareness around Clean Oceans; Water Safety, Youth Development and the Upliftment of Surf Lifesaving.
‘Some athletes that participate in Ocean Heroes have achieved incredible results in sport and as a result have overcome adversity. Their stories are relevant to the challenges of youth and can be a vehicle to inspire the community,’ said Krieger.
Through their shared interest in entrepreneurship, water sports and marine conservation Krieger and van der Westhuizen have raised over R100 000 through community projects for these worthy causes.
‘We have raised money for the cleaning of Umgeni river and surrounding estuaries from plastic pollution. We also are involved in a project called Paddle for the Planet and have raised awareness in over 23 different countries around the world for cleaner oceans as well as installed the first prototype river cage to remove plastics that harm marine life right here in Durban,’ explained van der Westhuizen.
She added that their combined vision was inspired by the need to create change through youth programmes and community initiatives to encourage South Africans to take action and responsibility of preserving the environment.