The Stanford Canoe Club/Grootbos Foundation canoeing development programme started only last year May and has already developed some promising and enthusiastic paddlers from the Stanford communities youth.
Mthunzi Nobandla has been with the club since inception and does not miss a training session or regatta. He is a highly committed member of the club and is constantly introducing new paddlers and his friends to paddling. He has developed into a capable and impressive paddler, full of enthusiasm. He has become a true ambassador for introducing the sport to the local community.
His commitment and enthusiasm has paved the way for younger paddlers, such as Garth Johannes and Amy Duffet to achieve remarkable accolades in the regattas. Amy recently won 3 golds and 1 silver at the South African Championships – after less than a year’s paddling experience.
The 2017 South African Championships were held in Swellendam and a team of ten paddlers from the development team took part. The championships were held over an entire week. The week was one of fierce and experienced competition. Many of the competitors had participated in the championships many times and were much better equipped.
The older paddlers such as Mthunzi Nobandla, Bevan Duffet, and Dirk Troost helped coach and inspire the younger club members through the week. The development paddlers reached every semi-final or final in each category – a remarkable achievement given the competition. Participating in the national champs was a great experience for the development team and an inspiration to work harder and achieve more in the next years champs. We will see you next year!