Pretoria Boys High
Photo Credit: Chris Oldnall

Pretoria Boys High School’s Deputy Headmaster Chris Oldnall and ‘old boy’ Peet Crowther recently teamed up for a brave plunge miles away from PTA—all in an effort to support children fighting cancer!


Cape Town, South Africa (26 March 2024) — Last week, Pretoria Boys High’s Deputy Headmaster Chris Oldnall undertook a unique extracurricular activity: a brave plunge from Big Bay to Robben Island and back again.

Teaming up with his friend and Pretoria Boys’ ‘old boy’ Peet Crowther, the pair’s swim raced with determination for an important cause close to the school’s heart—supporting children fighting osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer.

With fundraising hopes at the ready, ‘The Crow and The Bone’ prepared to make a positive impact on LemonTree Kids—a non-profit committed to helping children fighting the big fight get the medical treatment they need, and transform the environments they spend so much time in (like hospital wards) into fantastical havens or ‘Fantasy Worlds’ as LemonTree Kids puts it.

But the task at hand was not a gentle dip in kind waters for Chris and Peet. Debriefing Good Things Guy on the 22 March swim, Chris and Peet share that they were quickly reminded never to underestimate the power of the ocean (or weather trickery).

For starters, their pilot lost GPS signal due to thick fog, which turned the swim into something more of a trail run on the water. Then there were the bone-chilling waters between 12.8 and 15 degrees to handle, and the swim was extended thanks to the pilot inadvertently trekking to Melkbosstrand.

Remarkably, another boat’s GPS helped lead the two to the finish line, and by the time they neared Robben Island, the fog had begun to clear.

But the plunge wasn’t over, and the way home came with its own challenges largely due to the cold. But teamwork made the dreamwork, as the morale of one swimmer uplifted the other when it counted the most, and ultimately led them to the end of the treacherous adventure.

All in all, Chris and Peet tackled 17.7 kilometres thanks to the double-crossing—a remarkable test of endurance. However, the hard part is far from over, as they employ the same determination to hit their fundraising target.

Last year, Pretoria Boys High School raised R300 000 for LemonTree Kids, and this year the goal is R500 000.

While the swim has been able to raise some money, it is still a long way away from the hopeful goal. However, since they have already shown their grit for LemonTree Kids, hope is not lost! As more people learn of their mission, the fundraising initiative emulates their double crossing in that what’s most important is to keep pushing on.

You can support the initiative for LemonTree Kids here!

Sources: Website Submission; Chris Oldnall
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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.

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