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Jongeneel embarks on latest fundraising challenge

Jongeneel, left, with Francisco Salado and Arturo Bernal at the presentation.
Jongeneel, left, with Francisco Salado and Arturo Bernal at the presentation. / SUR
  • The Malaga swimmer will cross between the islands of Tenerife and Gran Canaria with the objective of rebuilding an orphanage in India

Malaga swimmer Christian Jongeneel (Rincón de la Victoria, 1974) is facing up to yet another sporting challenge in the name of charity. This time, in aid of the Brazadas Solidarias project run by the Vicente Ferrer Foundation, the swimmer will cross the 70 kilometres which separate the ports of Tenerife and Gran Canaria.

The announcement of the challenge took place last week in the presence of the mayor of Rincón de la Victoria and vicepresident of the Diputación, Francisco Salado, who praised the work of Jongeneel, saying, "When he brought the idea to us, we had no hesitation in offering him help".

Jongeneel has always been involved in charitable causes, especially through the Vicente Ferrer Foundation which is currently undertaking a lot of work in India. "We are achieving wonderful things," said Jongeneel.

The foundation is currently aiming to rebuild an orphanage: "I am always thinking about the 25 or so young people who are going to have a better future. The dream is not just to finish the crossing, but to go to India and see what we have achieved," he said.

The exact date is yet to be confirmed due to the changing weather conditions, but will most likely occur between Thursday and Saturday. The crossing itself will take around 24 hours without breaks.

Temperatures during the day average between 20 and 23 degrees but they drop considerably when the sun sets. Jongeneel, who will be the first to take on this challenge without a wetsuit, said: "I want to start at night. I want to tackle the low temperatures when I have most energy."

Supporters will be able to follow his progress live online thanks to GPS tracking technology.