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Riding the waves for literacy!

This past weekend, on the sandy beaches of Muizenberg, we celebrated our 3rd annual Vintage 500 event. This day is all about fun, laughter, and good vibes. But more importantly it is about raising funds for the cause closest to our hearts, the improvement of literacy in South Africa. And what a huge success it was! The teams ascended the beach bright and early on Saturday morning armed and ready with their boards, goggles, wetsuits, and eager anticipation for the competition ahead. But before we dive into the details of the day, let’s look back at where and why this event was born.


Best friends Debbie Smuts and Leigh-Anne Nathan got together three years ago and decided to plan a fun day out to raise funds for the Good Hope Literacy Centre and collect clothes for Vintage with Love. Both being lovers of the ocean and part of their own women’s body boarding crew, they thought what fun it would be to host a body boarding competition. In stepped Aidan from Body Board South Africa who generously offered his expertise and help in organizing the event and with that the vision started to take shape.

The name “Vintage 500” was chosen as homage to the iconic Gunston 500, a legendary professional surfing event hosted in Durban from 1969-1999. While the Vintage 500 may not boast the same scale or professionalism, its participants bring the same energy, enthusiasm, and sense of camaraderie that we can only imagine characterized the Gunston 500 surfing competitions back in the day.


Once again, thanks to Aidan and the incredible Body Board South Africa, the event on Saturday was another huge success. Additionally, this year for the first time we also had the generous sponsorship of Quay 1 who provided all the athletes with a warm coffee after riding the waves and did a great job of judging the important categories like ‘best wipeout’ or ‘most women on one wave’.

As the waves crashed and the excitement of the 71 ladies filled the air, we reflected on how unique and creative our efforts are to raise funds for literacy. This event brings together a community of women who just love being together in the water, letting go of their troubles or worries and enjoying the company of like-minded people. But above all, the Vintage 500 is about coming together for a common cause and these incredible women were there to support literacy and to give back in a fun and different way.

All profits from the event go towards supporting the Good Hope Literacy Centre, which is based at the Good Hope Junior Seminary School in Gardens. This organization is dedicated to improving literacy rates and empowering individuals through education and they inspire us in their unwavering commitment and incredible results. Week after week, a group of selfless volunteers arrive and work with children who have been identified as needing assistance with literacy. Through the year they form bonds with these children that mean so much more than just the help with reading and writing. These women are amazing mentors to the children and the results are truly inspirational. The funds raised at the Vintage 500 go a long way in helping this organization continue to operate and support children in their learning journeys.

In addition, participants at the event are encouraged to bring along a bag of gently worn clothing to be donated to Vintage with Love who sell the clothes and use the profits from the sales to support a wide network of other education and literacy charities around South Africa. These gently worn clothes are truly making a world of difference in this country.


So, as we close the door to another successful Vintage 500 event, let us take with us the spirit of generosity and compassion, knowing that our collective efforts are making waves of change in the lives of others.

With love, Angie


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