CEO & Ambassador of the Foundation


Ryk Neethling is an incredibly accomplished swimmer, who has transitioned into a highly successful businessman and philanthropist. An Olympic Gold Medalist and the first South African athlete to represent his country in four consecutive Olympic Games, he also holds the title of three-time World Champion and four-time World Record Breaker. During his time at Arizona, Ryk was named the American NCAA Swimmer of the Year in 1999 and the University Arizona Athlete of the Century.

Following his retirement from swimming, Ryk’s business career began with the launch of the Ryk Neethling Swimming Schools franchise in 2008. Ryk’s passion for business and property development has manifested in the elite Val de Vie Estate, where he is shareholder and Marketing Director. Through his involvement with the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation. Ryk uses his influence as an athlete to create better opportunities for the community and to uplift and inspire the youth of South Africa.

A Word From Our CEO

It is an honour and a privilege to fulfil the role as CEO for the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation. HSH Princess Charlene of Monaco is a former team mate that I swam with for over a decade and our shared passion for the awareness of water safety is one close to my heart. A near-drowning incident as a young boy growing up in Bloemfontein, South Africa, steered my life in a direction I could never have imagined. Water safety classes led to swimming lessons that eventually resulted in me winning a gold medal at the Olympic Games. I have been actively involved in promoting water safety and the importance of swimming as a life skill for the last 20 years. There is a great deal of work to be done to achieve the Foundation’s goals off eradicating drowning but with the support of HSH Princess Charlene of Monaco, sponsors, partners and my fellow board members we will do our best to achieve it.