Since the start of the canoeing programme in May, the programme and it’s participants have gone from strength to strength. Technically participants have come a long way and now move effortlessley throught the water and improve with every session.
To ensure the safety standards are maintained and to maintain the required ratio of trainer to children, the number of participants has unfortunately had to be reduced and we are now limited to working and training 30 kids. The kids range from 11 years of age and up and to date there is only one girl, Amy, in the squad. Training takes place twice a week, on a Wednesday and a Saturday on the Stanford River.
The kids are given a membership card, which serves as a deposit for the use of the boats, paddles and life jackets for each session and kids skills levels are assessed against three levels: fish, shark and whale. These levels are assessed against paddling and rescue skills and technical knowledge.
The kids are extremely excited and motivated about the programme and are taking part in the Triple Series canoe races, kicking off this coming Saturday, the 22nd of October in Century City in Cape Town. 18 of the kids will be racing in guppies and K1 kayaks and will take part in both the sprinting and long-distance events.
The aim of the programme is to give children from the local communities access to a sport that they ordinarily would not have access to, due to prohibitive costs of the equipment required. With the Stanford River on our doorstep it makes sense for this to be training ground for up and coming canoeing stars. Future plans include fundraising for more equipment so that the programme could be extended to more kids.