Pietermaritzburg – During one of the toughest FNB Dusi Canoe Marathon races held between Pietermaritzburg and Durban over the past weekend, members of the Soweto Canoe and Recreation Club (SCARC) yet again proved their resilience by convincingly securing three spots in the top 20.
Out of 20 SCARC paddlers participating in the race, the team achieved one gold medal, and three silver positions.
Siseko Ntondini, together with his veteran paddling partner and ADreach/EuroSteel team mate Len Jenkins, crossed the finish line in fifth place, improving on Ntondini’s ninth place in 2015.
Following closely behind them, Loveday Zondi (FirstRand Racing Team) and Kwanda Mhlophe of the Computershare Change a Life Academy – partnering for the first time – successfully clinched twelfth place.
Young Under-23 pair, Siyabonga Tyiki and Thando Ngamlana, also of the FirstRand Racing Team, stole the hearts of fans by putting in an astounding performance, finishing fifteenth overall and in the top five of their hotly contested age group.
Mike Vacy-Lyle, CEO of FNB Business says, “Year after year, SCARC paddlers continue to defy the odds by raising the bar and taking on some of the best paddlers in the continent.
“Facing one of their toughest Dusi races due to low water levels, these talented athletes paddled like there was no tomorrow, proving that with hard work and thorough preparation, almost any challenge can be overcome.
“Even some of the most experienced paddlers in the world found this year’s race quite challenging.
“When you think the odds are stacked against them, SCARC paddlers always prevail and come out on top.
“They certainly rose to the occasion at this year’s FNB Dusi and are a true inspiration to aspiring paddlers out there.
“Congratulations to the team,” adds Vacy-Lyle.
The presence of the various SCARC teams at the race is testament to the power of sport in uniting people and uplifting communities.
The role of sports development in South Africa is critical to ensuring a bright future for coming generations.
SCARC is the brainchild of ADreach CEO, Brad Fisher, and aims to give the youth of the historic township an opportunity to uplift themselves.
“This year’s FNB Dusi was a huge success for the SCARC team and we are so grateful to FNB for their support which allows this event to continue, providing opportunities to develop paddlers from all walks of life,” explains Fisher.
“SCARC is really an example of quality sports development in action. It is showing South Africa that we can use sport to uplift communities.
“The SCARC paddlers are now in high demand to partner with seasoned paddlers who are the best of the best. This is based purely on their hard work and ability.
“Canoeing’s development initiatives are fast becoming the future of paddling in our country through the members’ sheer determination to change their circumstances.
“The sponsorship of the SCARC Racing Team from the FirstRand Group has been critical to their growth and development and we really would not be here today without this incredible partnership.
“FirstRand has invested in each and every member of the club with personal interest and a goal to develop individuals to their full potential.
“Through the FirstRand Youth Development Camps and other education initiatives we have been able to ensure that each SCARC member is fully equipped in every aspect of their lives,” concludes Fisher.