Cindy Mhkize, is a resident of the PMB Mental Health Society and a likely candidate for the Transitional Living Centre (TLC) we are creating. Cindy was selected for the South African team to participate in the INAS (International Sports Federation for Para-Athletes with Intellectual Disabilities) World Swimming Championships 2013 in Noumea, New Caledonia.
Cindy Mkhize is a shy, timid young woman with a great talent for swimming. Since 2006 she has won more than 70 medals from regional to international swimming competitions.
Amongst her wins are the award for the top female swimmer from the PMB Mental Health Society’s gala every year since 2010; in 2012 she competed in the KZN Multi-Disability Championships in Durban where she received the trophy for top female swimmer; at the Summer Games 2012 in Cape Town she received three gold medals, three silver medals and two bronze medals and also returned from the National Championships in Rustenburg in March 2013 with 6 more medals.
Her international career started when she was still at school: she travelled to Poland with the South African Special Schools team in 2008, and again in 2009 when she participated in the Global Games in the Czech Republic. On both occasions she returned with medals. Cindy lives at The Palms, a residential facility run by the PMB Mental Health Society and attends the Buxton Workshop. She teaches toddlers at Footsteps Pre-School to swim and also assists with coaching Grade 1 to 3 learners at Piet Retief Primary school. Cindy is involved in training to care for children and in her spare time volunteers at children fun days.
Cindy has just heard that she has been chosen for the SA team to participate in the INAS (International Sports Federation for Para-Athletes with Intellectual Disabilities) World Swimming Championships in Noumea, New Caledonia. The cost for every team member is R42,000 (£2,745) – a rather daunting amount to collect for someone who receives a Disability Grant.
Two of the mental health social workers, Sihle Kraai and Bongi Ndzingi are running the Comrades Marathon and agreed to fundraise for Cindy with their running. It will be Sihle’s third marathon and Bongi’s second.
If you would like to join Sihle and Bongi in their fundraising efforts, and help Cindy make it to the World Swimming Championships, please visit Cindy’s JustGiving page to make a donation.
By Elna Welman, Director PMB Mental Health Society