Results available HERE

Despite the overcast and even drizzley grey day on Saturday 7 March, the 100 + paddlers from as young as 5 years of age through to 18, were enthusiastic and excited as they enjoyed their second school league race of 2015.

The race, hosted at Victoria Lake Canoe Club, Germiston Lake, took the form of sprints using sprint lanes as the league prepares the children for the daunting challenge of the SA Schools interprovincial interschool sprint challenge at the end of April.  Many of the very young or new paddlers struggle with the concept of straight lines down the buoy lanes, and a number of youngsters lose their bearings on the long 1000m event zigzagging across the lanes or heading for the wrong side of the dam causing much mirth among the organisers…..

It is however amazing how quickly they grasp the whole concept and by their second race they already have it down to a fine art – such quick minds and perfect bodies to be trained as athletes for the future – the SPRINTS are the Olympic Discipline and are therefore the most important part of canoeing and training of our youth.

Thank goodness for the willing parents and coaches who muck in and provide the enormous  numbers of manpower needed to organise a huge bunch of over excited happy energetic kids!

As usual, the Victor and Victrix Ladorum medals were awarded to the top 3 of the combined points earned for the 3 races finished, 1000m, 500m, and 200m.

In the Under 8 female category, the winning girl was Bonolo Mohapi, with Rorisang Roberts in 2nd and Chane Fouche 3rd, representing FLCC and LIK x 2 – H F Verwoerd Primary School.  The boys under 8 were led by Divan Bornman, with Pieter van Niekerk and Ruben Hartman in 2nd and 3rd, from Lik/SAS/Lik respectively H F Verwoerd, Kruinpark and HF Verwoerd!

Under 10 Boys saw Chentin Minnie, Nicholas Erwee and Luke Watkins in 1st, 2nd and 3rd from HF Verwoerd and St Davids x 2 – (Lik/Dabs/Dabs), while the girls winners were Anja Bornman, Ameerah Hank and Caitlyn Evans – finishing her first ever canoe race with a medal – from schools, HF Verwoerd, Aurora Curro and St Mary’s, from clubs Lik/Flcc and Dabs.

Under 12 girls were led by Kamilah Hank, (Auroro Curro/FLCC), with Tinyiko Mahwayi in 2nd, (Fordsburg Primary – SOW) and Faida Kansilembo in 3rd, (Colin Mann Primary -VLC) while the boys Matthew van der Merwe, Connor Erwee and Stuart Mackay, from Charter house, St Davids, and Rivonia Primary represented their clubs as FLCC/and Dabs x 2.

My heart always feels heavy when the Under 12 younsters move up to under 14 as the competition is so much stronger and those just turned 12 find a massive difference in physique and ability when competing against youngsters who are already turning 14 as this seems to be a huge growth period, but it certainly turns boys into young men!

Certainly there are both PRIMARY school and HIGH School competitors within this two year age gap and it can be unlucky to have a December birthday and have to move up to next age group in the new year, whereas if a birthday is on 1 January, the lucky paddlers gets to stay in the younger age group another year!  Life and nature have never really been fair, but i guess it makes one tougher!

The girl leaders were Megan Oelofse, Alexis Rich and Jaemi Wellisch – from Lik/VLC/and Dabs, from Hoerskool Parys, Parktown Girls, and St Catherines, while the boys where there is often a huge difference in size and height, were led by Wian Bornman (Lik/Hoerskool Parys) , Zanenhlanhla Mbala (Inkwenkwezi Primary -Sow) and Jaydon Hunt (FLCC/Randpark Ridge).

In the Under 16 age group the winners in the boys races were Sibusiso Chwayi (Musi High -Sow), with Liam Stewart (Ashton International College,ERK) in 2nd, and 3rd was Onke Lona Magadla ( Nkonkhwezi High,SOW) and the girls top finisher was Caroline van der linde, from Hoerskool Parys, as the Lik representative. with 2nd place being for Priyanka Padayachee, from Dabs and Parktown Girls.

The under 18 boys were led by Siyabonga Tyiki (Sow) with Jonty Griesel in 2nd and Xolisa Gxobole in 3rd (Bona High, Hoerskool Parys, and Thaba Jabula High – Sow/Lik/Sow).

Jennie Dallas

for GCU PR

082 857 857 1