Wild Swimmer Marcelle Webber
World ice swimming gold medalist joins The Wild Swim
The trajectory from the competitive pool arena to extreme ice swimming and marathon charity events, came like a thief in the night, to Marcelle Webber aka Splash, as she was dubbed in the press during her early years of competitive swimming.
Her Springbok colours also get her awarded a four year scholarship in Knoxville, Tennessee, in the 1980s to study sociology and psychology.
Then came an enticer in 2017, which changed her life. It’s name: COLD WATER, like seriously cold water – icy, sub zero stuff in fact.
It all began after Marcelle cut her teeth on a Robben Island Crossing that year, and before the real deal of swimming in Arctic Waters in sub zero temperatures.
Marcelle subsequently represented South Africa at the recent World Ice Swimming Championships held in Murmansk, Russia, returning with three gold medals and a silver.
While many mortals consider would consider the experience of immersing yourself for long periods in sub-zero temperature waters as seeking a near-death experience, Marcelle views it as a natural high – “a cocktail of dopamine, endorphins and seratonin, an antidote for the distracted mind, body and soul.”
Before signing up for The Wild Swim, Marcelle joined Madswimmer in 2018, founded by Jean Craven in support of various children’s charities. She completed the 34km Orange River swim and the 21km uncharted island swim in Tanzania. Both swims raised R140,000. She also joined the 8 Mile Club in 2018, swimming all eight Midmar Mile mile events, back to back, raising funds for the WildTrust.
Now, after frolicking with frozen friends in the Arctic Circle, she is looking forward to taking part in The Wild Swim alongside another ice swimming addict, Mervyn Bremner.
The Wild Swim takes place from April 26 to May 2 along a 22 km stretch of the Wild Coast earmarked for heavy minerals mining. The adventure swim has been organised by the 8 Mile Club in association with Roving Reporters and the Kydrin Foundation to raise R250,000 for eco-tourism in the area, marine conservation and associated environmental journalism training.
“The ocean is my playground and I am a fierce guardian of her ensuring she is kept pristine and glorious for the generations to come,” says Marcelle.
To help The Wild Swimmers reach this target DONATE HERE.
A growing number of organisations are supporting the fundraising drive. Click here to see who they are.
Other businesses, groups of friends and clubs can also create a fundraising page in support of The Wild Swim by clicking here >> Start Fundraising.
Marcelle Webber’s Splash Foundation is also currently in incubation. “Without giving too much away, it will look to cater for special needs, disabled and disadvantaged individuals seeking to achieve their swimming aspirations – a platform to empower, educate and provide financial aid,” says Marcelle.