South African Olympian Ryk Neethling was recently named the newest CEO of the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation.
2004 Olympic Gold medallist Ryk Neethling has been appointed CEO of the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation South Africa, a prestigious voluntary position in the country’s charitable sector.
Neethling, who previously served as an Ambassador to the Foundation, is also actively involved in the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation and is an Ambassador for Hope Through Action.
The Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation was established in 2012 and is committed to reducing death by drowning. The Foundation aims to raise public awareness about the dangers of water, teaching children essential water safety skills and how to swim.
More than 300,000 people worldwide have been reached as a part of the foundations quest to reduce the risk of death by drowning, this includes a total of 2,507 children receiving swim lessons in South Africa in 2016. Another 27,242 children in South Africa received water safety skills through 23 projects in 2016.
Neethling is a good friend of the princess, with the pair having both competed for South Africa together during their swimming careers.
Regarding his new appointment, Neethling explained to the Associated Press,
“Since my swimming career started at the age of five after a near-drowning incident, I have shared the same passion for water safety as Her Serene Highness Princess Charlene. Twenty-five years ago, we both began representing South Africa at international swimming competitions, and it is an incredible honour for me to now be entrusted with the task of leading her Foundation here in our country.”
Princess Charlene added,“Ryk is a true champion – a man of integrity, talent and remarkable inner strength. He is passionate about water safety and will, I know, take my Foundation from strength to strength in South Africa.”
Neethling, who is currently the Marketing Director of Val de Vie Estate in the Western Cape, is excited about his new position.