The Start and the Finish
We love the outdoors; fishing and diving from small vessels on the South African and Mozambican coastlines is absolute bliss. We long for this simple, peaceful way of life whenever back in bustling Pretoria. Being out at sea for long periods of time on vessels with little or no space for cooler boxes left us drinking warm water after a terrific dive or bringing that prized pelagic fish on board. I started experimenting by using an empty pocket of potatoes, putting PET bottles that have been frozen overnight into the brown paper, and tightening the paper around it with rubber bands. It worked a charm, and slipping a few into available cavities ensured we had ice cold water for the duration of our excursions on the magnificent Indian Ocean.
After a week or so my family would smell my approach with a slight onshore breeze, add two more weeks, and even an offshore gale could not mask my coming ashore. With the handling of bait and petrol, bringing fish aboard, and my bottles continually getting wet, they seemed to absorb all the smells thrown at it. I was lovingly encouraged to get rid of my sleeve on a regular basis. This presented a problem as brown potato bags with or without contents are in short supply in Mozambique, especially the more remote destinations we favor. Being a diver and knowing the insulating properties of Neoprene, the fabric was the next logical choice, and a prototype was born. At this point we realized the potential of the BeCool sleeve for recreational purposes. As time went by working on and testing the prototypes whilst searching the net for marketing material, we became aware of the huge impact adequate hydration can have on our society. We are continuously getting more passionate about hydration and the potential of our sleeve to encourage every South African to live a healthier, hydrated lifestyle. Focusing on schools makes sense as healthy habits are 'lifestyled' at an early age.
While scientists, medical practitioners and other professionals way clever-er than us can disagree and argue on the how much and how often one must drink water and exactly what impact dehydration in various degrees have on our abilities as human beings, we cannot ignore the fact that it is critical for everyday life. We cannot ignore the fact that our bodies consist of around 60% water and we need to maintain those levels to perform. We all agree that lukewarm water tastes terrible on a hot day, and we are humbled and astounded when reading a report such as one compiled by NEIMS in 2009, that identified South Africa had 2444 schools with no water supply, and 2563 schools with unreliable water supply.
Please review this article for quite an eye opener on personal hydration.
We dream of a simple solution that improve lives everywhere, but even if we change one life, that would be bodacious. I see Sipho Twala taking a big gulp of chilled water before running out after a miserable season of soccer and kicking the winning goal in overtime. He was not planning on playing again the following year, but goes on to become South Africa’s most capped player for the national side. Andre drinks more water all of the second and third terms in school as he has this ‘cool to have’ sleeve with him all of the time and pushes his grade average up from 79% to 80%. This 1% earns him the bike his dad promised him, and he becomes greater than ‘Evil Knievel’. Trisha Govender becomes the first female president of South Africa and makes the country soar. She attributes her success to being alert and working hard at all times, making sure time spent on any activity is used productively, something that comes easy for her when she runs around with a bottle of chilled water wherever she goes. I see Bongani being alert on the job all the time as he replaces lost water and electrolytes from his BeCool sleeve and bottle ever so often; he saves the lives of 6 members of his working group when he spots a hangingwall about to fall and stops them from entering a mining stope.
Our dream is a simple one, an easy one to implement, and maybe those are the ones our country needs right now.