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Selena Victory sets 100km swim challenge to raise funds for Rifcom

Selena Victory embarked on the first swim of her 100km swimming challenge on Wednesday morning when she swam from Sandy Bay to Caleta, all in aid of Rifcom.

The charity Rifcom assists communities in the Rif mountains in Morocco, improving healthcare and education.

However, due to Covid-19 and the collapse of the area’s tourism industry, residents are missing the basic essentials of life such as food.

Ms Victory is raising funds for Rifcom by swimming 100km from July 1 to September 10, National Day, ‘A 100k until National Day’. The challenge will require her to swim on average 10km a week.

Rifcom will provide food donations for immediate hunger relief for affected families, by working in partnership with its well established network of partners and volunteers in Morocco.

She grew up swimming but was never an avid swimmer.

“But it is something I have always enjoyed doing. You know running is a struggle and so are other physical things but swimming is more of me getting into a rhythm and as long as I do it at my own pace I have quite a bit of endurance,” she said.

It is not the first time Ms Victory has undertaken challenges for the charity, on previous occasions she has completed a 100km walk called Summit to Sahara which she trekked over the Atlas mountains and climbed Toubkal, the highest mountain in North Africa.

“I got involved with Rifcom this year when there was a disabled community who turned to them for help to refurbish their facilities, because they basically had a room there, and they were trying to look after disabled families and provide a rehab. We were starting a project, possibly taking GHA decommissioned stuff such as wheelchairs or crutches, working with them on a rehab programme for disabled people there and… [Covid-19] started,” she said.

“Recently over the last week or so, we have had a call from them for help, saying ‘Look, now we are just destitute’ especially in Chefchaouen which relies on the tourist industry and donations it receives from richer people. “This has obviously all shut down now, especially for smaller charities like this disabled one where the funds have dried up completely. They actually said ‘Look, we are at the stage now where we just need food for people, because people do not have food.”

With their plight in mind, Ms Victory aims to raise £2,000, she currently has currently raised £360 with the fundraising page being active for a mere number of days.

This swimmer does not mind being in the water but finds getting into cold water the hardest part. “For me, the challenge is getting down to the beach every day and getting into the water, for me the swimming bit is easy,” she laughed.

Making the getting into the water easier is her wetsuit which she got as a Christmas present last year. Yesterday, as she did her inaugural swim, she was accompanied by a man that is no stranger to challenges, Gary Evans. On Friday, another friend will accompany her and she said she will welcome anyone who would like to join her over the next ten weeks.

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