Young canoeist gains valuable experience

Jaemi Wellish who lives in Krugersdorp enjoyed the first canoe race of 2017 despite the overcast skies and choppy water. Photo: Jennie Dallas.

The Gauteng Canoe Union School League organises monthly races for juniors where they not only learn how to compete at provincial level, but also learn commitment, discipline and dedication, as well as the essential life-skill of working towards achieving goals.

The highlight of the juniors’ year is participating in the South African Interschool Interprovincial Sprint Kayaking competition which takes place in April in Swellendam this year.

The sprint is the most important discipline of the canoeing sport as it is an Olympic discipline.

Sports4Life hosted the first sprint race of 2017 at Wemmer Pan on Sunday, 22 January. The juniors earned medals for the top three positions in each age group from under 8 years through to 18 years, as well as points which accumulate towards the year-end prize-giving where the points are credited to the school represented as well as to the club where they train.

Krugersdorp youngster, Jaemi Wellish, finished the race, earned the points, gained the experience and had the fun of participating. He went home satisfied and fulfilled, despite not having won a medal.

The sport has more to offer and with the ICF World Marathons being hosted in South Africa in September, the young paddlers are looking forward to increasing their distances and mileage from sprints to long distance in order to be able to participate at the world event.

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