Ryk 'saddened' by burglary
Karen Ebersohn, Beeld
Pretoria - Ryk Neethling’s swimming academy for the disadvantaged and disabled in Pretoria has been stripped bare by burglars.
“It makes me very sad. You try so hard to make a difference in your country. Then it is one step forward and two steps back,” he said on Tuesday.
Items worth at least R50 000 were stolen from the Ryk Neethling Foundation’s academy in Garsfontein, which he founded about two months ago.
“A group of instructors teach 80 disadvantaged or physically disabled people to swim each week. It is for 40 children and 40 adults.
“The swimming lessons are part of a rehabilitation process for those with physical disabilities.”
Burglars stole all the equipment on Monday evening. This included cables used in the water, towels, swimming trunks, a sound system and radio and even coffee and sweets given to the children.
“When some of the people arrived for the lesson this morning, they asked why it was so quiet. We usually play music for them and now even the radio has been stolen.”
Neethling said what made this especially sad was that the project was very popular and had received positive feedback. “Over the last few weeks so many parents said their children reacted well to the swimming therapy.”
Neethling said people who had heard of the burglary had said they would help with new equipment.
There have also been three burglaries at Neethling’s residences.