The Gauteng Canoe Union School League is run by volunteer helpers, parents and coaches with support from the union and clubs that host the races……
The league aims to introduce young paddlers to the sport, grow them in fitness, stamina, endurance and speed, introduce them to competitive racing, and help prepare them towards achieving goals such as junior Gauteng sports colours over a period of time, and are very proud of those who are selected to represent our province at various interprovincial events.
Races are organised more or less monthly although some months have 2 races and others none, approximately around 10 races per annum are organised for preparation towards the interprovincial events which are Interschool Interprovincial Sprints around April / May annually, as well as the SA Sprints, SA Marathons, and there are a few older paddlers who enjoy racing rivers as well and compete at the SA K1 and K2 river championships.
Results are calculated on excel spreadsheets and a database is kept – the young paddlers from Under 8 through to 18 years are awarded points on a sliding scale from first to last finishers for each race which accumulate through the year towards the end of the year annual prizegiving.
The points are credited to the individual paddler, the club and the school represented by the paddler…..and medals / trophies are awarded after each race and at the end of the year for accumulated achievements. Because of the accumulation of race points, sometimes it may be that those who seldom win a medal in the races, but attend every single race, accumulate more points than the top winners who do not participate in every event…..like the MotoGP!
The league does allow for two races to be dropped from the total of races and only add the points of the rest of the races as it is impossible for all participants to attend all races with transport issues, family and school commitments as well as illness so its a way to level the playing fields and to encourage the youngsters not to give up if they can’t make it to one or other race – they could still be in the running!
One of the goals of the SL is to ensure that the children DO enjoy racing canoeing……and have fun…..and look forward to next events, enjoy their training and reap the benefits and rewards of their efforts while enjoying the sport…..retention is an important aspect of the sport as the School league feeds the main canoeing sport eventually.
For details and to be added to the School League mailing list please contact ME!
School League Co-ordinator
GCU – firstname.lastname@example.org