Canoe union hosts exciting race

Celebrating finishing the race are learners from different schools around Kathorus Area. From left: Malithula Mtankisi (Alafang High school), Ongezwa Mxwazi (Izibuko Primary), Nontobeko Primary (Thokoza Primary), Scelo Gwamanda (Alafang High School), Tsepo Mtswini (Alafang High School), Charles Ntlemeza (Izibuko Primary), Neleisiwe Ndebele (Izibuko Primary) and Gwiba Khalipha (Reahile Primary).

Several schools participated in the Gauteng school canoe race that was held at the Germiston Lake on Sunday, February 12.

The race was the second of 11 events that the Gauteng Canoe Union school league will be holding across Gauteng in 2017.

The first race took place on Friday, January 6 at Benoni Homestead Dam.

The next event will take place on Saturday, March 4 at Emmarentia.

The race on Sunday, February 12 included the u-8 and u-10 canoeists, who did one lap, while the u-12 did two laps and the u-14, u-16, u-18 and open-age category did three laps.

In the first three age groups the paddlers raced in a more stable boat called a “guppie” while the paddlers who competed in the other four age groups competed in a vessel called a K1.

According to Sisanda Mthabela, who finished fourth in the u-14 girls category, it was tiring.

“It was tough being on the water for more than 30 minutes with no rest,” said Mthabela.

Mthabela, who also plays netball and hockey and participates in cross-country at school, said she wishes to compete at national level in three years’ time.

She also thanked her mother and grandparents for their continued support.

Londiwe Mthabela said seeing her child finish in fourth place made her very happy.

“I am over the moon. She is such a dedicated young child.

“I would like to see more girls participating in sports. It was not good to see that in some of the categories girls were not represented.”

Keegan Nel, who participated in the u-14 boys category said he feels happy that he managed to finish the race.

“Water sports is my favourite. I would like to thank the organisers for the successful event. Not to forget my parents for their support,” said Nel.

Eddie Thage, one of the organisers, said the event was a success but not without challenges. “We lack equipment like boats and uniforms. We would highly appreciate it if we can get some business people to come forward and offer sponsorship so that the dream we have will not die just because we lack equipment,” said Thage.

Thage also said they tried all they could to bring parents to the event.

“We sent a bus to collect parents so that they can come in numbers to support their children, but the bus returned only with the children. I don’t know what excuse they are going to have for not coming to support their own kids.

“Kids enjoy to seeing their parents involved in their own sport,” Thage said.

According to Jodie Dreyer, another organiser, they were all volunteers.

“Our volunteers have worked hard in making kids happy. They did it out of the goodness of their hearts.

“The event was sponsored by Ekurhuleni Municipality, which provided transport, food parcels, caps, medals and trophies for paddlers,” said Dreyer.

Ribbons were given as awards to all paddlers who participated on the day.

Medals (gold, silver and bronze) were awarded to the top three fastest paddlers per age group in the male and female categories.

The winners and results for canoe long distance were as follows:

Boys u-8: first place Quintus Mienie, second place Thomas Wilmot, third place Rupert Schonborn. No girls participated in this category.

Boys u-10: first place Divan Bornman, second place Marco van Sandwyk, third place Matthew Wilson. No girls participated in this category.

Boys u-12: first place Lynton Oelofse, second place Theo Dreyer, third place Nicholas Erwee.

Girls u-12: first place Ameerah Hank, second place De Klerk, third place Justine Tillet.

Boys u-14: first place Finlay Learsk, second place Ruan van Pletzan, third place Cannor Erwee.

Girls u-14: first place Jo-Ann Prinsloo, second place Kamilah Hank, third place Tiannie Prins.

Boys u-16: first place Sean van Platzen, second place Peter Tumiel, third place Dihan Roos.

Girls u-16: first Abigail Bezuidenhout, second place Alexis Ritchie, third place Megan Oelofse.

Boys u-18: first place Methew Eckhart, second place Tristan Trichan, third place Joshua Davies.

Girls u-16: first place Caroline van der Linde, second place Shanae Marais, third place Prooja Satyaprakash.

In the boys open category Francois Joubert took first prize, followed by Cannor Davies, while Leonard Goldenhuis took third place. No girls participated in this category.

Paddlers were awarded points for each school league race that they participated in.

League winners will be announced at the annual prize-giving event in November.

*A 500m sprint was held on the same day. The results were as follows:

Boys u-8: first place Quintus Mienie, second place Thomas Wilmot, third place Christian Swanepoel. There was one girl who participated, Izania van Sandwyk.

Boys u-10: first place Divan Borman, second place Marco van Sandwyk, third place Pieter van Niekerk. There were no girls in this category.

Boys u-12: first place Lynton Oelofse, second place Theo Dreyer, third place Nicholas Erwee.

Girls u-12: first place Ameerah Hank, second place Justine Tillet, third place Alexander de Klerk.

Boys u-14: first place Finlay Laersk, second place Ruhan van Platzen, third place Connor Erwee.

Girls u-14: first place Jo-ane Prinsloo, second place Alexa Godden, third place Kamilah Hank.

Boys u-16: first place Sean van Pletzen, second place Peter Tumiel, third place Dihaan Roos.

Girls u-16: first place Abegail Bezuidenhout, second place Megan Oelofse, third place Alexis Ritchie.

Boys u-18: first place Matthew Eckhart, second place Tristan Trican, third place March Straus.

Girls u-18: first place Caroline van der Linde, second place Shanae Marais, third place Pooja Satyaprakash.

The boys open category was led by Francois Joubert, followed by Connor Davies in second place and Leonard Geldeheis in third.

  AUTHOR
Aaron Damane

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