KES Special Scholarship
Pictured above: Dalan with Andy and Suzette.

Not your everyday midlife crisis, Dalan Holton’s Robben Island crossing swim in celebration of his 50th hopes to fund the Daniel Lopes Memorial Scholarship at KES for a student facing financial hardships!


Sandton, South Africa (13 February 2024) — Upon approaching the ‘Big 50’, KES Alumnus Dalan Holton from Morningside started thinking about what he could do that would make the milestone birthday that much more significant than a midlife crisis. Soon, the idea of charging through frosty waters to fund something as important as someone else’s education began swimming through his mind.

For some, a midlife crisis might mean fast cars or embarking on adventures you’d always dreamed of. For Dalan, it means combining adrenaline with heart, which is exactly why he has signed up to tackle a frosty swim from Robben Island to Blouberg!

“Now, before you question my sanity, let me assure you there’s a method to my madness,” says Dalan. 

“This aquatic adventure isn’t just about proving that I’ve still got it at 50. It’s about something much bigger. I’m raising funds on BackaBuddy for the Daniel Lopes Memorial Scholarship.”

When Dalan was at KES (King Edward VII School), he forged a lasting friendship with Antonio Lopes, with whom he swam, graduated and remained friends long after their school days.

When Antonio’s son, Daniel, tragically passed away when he was just 12 years old on account of a freak accident in December 2018, it left a huge void in the hearts of those who knew him.

One big way Daniel was honoured was through the founding of the Daniel Lopes Memorial Scholarship.  Daniel was someone who excelled in academics and sports during his time at school, and paying his life tribute through a hugely significant scholarship was only fitting.

Given Dalan’s close connection to the family, it only made sense for him to raise funds for the KES scholarship. As to why he chose this frosty swim, Dalan shares that it is symbolic.

“[The frosty swim is] a journey of endurance, hope and remembrance, much like the journey of the students this scholarship will support.” 

R39,800.74 has been raised already, with an ultimate goal of R50 000 which will cover 50% of KES tuition fees for the entire high school career of a student.

“Your donation can help turn this seemingly crazy 50-year-old’s midlife crisis into a lifeline for young minds dreaming of a brighter future,” Dalan adds. 

With just under two days to go until his swim on February 15, Dalan draws closer and closer to the 7.5 kilometres in waters known to challenge even the toughest swimmers. Dalan has been hard at work training under the guidance of his coach, Cyndi Starr, and has prepared alongside training partners Andy Johnson and Suzette Prinsloo to get to the point where he is ready to dive into action.

He also hopes that the challenge will inspire his 5-year-old daughter to help others and follow her passion.

In a note of advice that can resonate with all of us, Dalan shares:

“Be active and push yourself. Find something you love and then excel at it, stretching yourself but finding joy in the process every step of the way. If you can find a way for the thing you love and are good at to add value to other people’s lives—do that!” 

You can find Dalan’s campaign here. 

Sources: Supplied
Don’t ever miss the Good Things. Download the Good Things Guy App now on Apple or Google
Do you have something to add to this story? Please share it in the comments or follow GoodThingsGuy on Facebook & Twitter to keep up to date with good news as it happens, or share your good news with us by clicking here or click the link below to listen to the Good Things Guy Podcast with Brent Lindeque – South Africa’s very own Good Things Guy. He’s on a mission to change what the world pays attention to, and he truly believes there’s good news around us. In the Good Things Guy podcast, you’ll meet these everyday heroes & hear their incredible stories:

Or watch an episode of Good Things TV below, a show created to offer South Africans balance in a world with what feels like constant bad news. We’re here to remind you that there are still so many good things happening in South Africa & we’ll leave you feeling a little more proudly South African.


Facebook Comments

About the Author

Ashleigh Nefdt is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Ashleigh's favourite stories have always seen the hidden hero (without the cape) come to the rescue. As a journalist, her labour of love is finding those everyday heroes and spotlighting their spark - especially those empowering women, social upliftment movers, sustainability shakers and creatives with hearts of gold. When she's not working on a story, she's dedicated to her canvas or appreciating Mother Nature.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *