‘Idols’ judge to race in Dusi canoe marathon

2012-11-10 00:00

RADIO personality and South African Idols judge Unathi Msengana will be one of the celebrities paddling in next year’s The Unlimited Dusi Canoe Marathon.

This will be Msengana’s first time braving the rapids.

She will be joined by media personalities such as 5fm sports presenter Sias du Plessis and TV and radio presenter Liezel van der Westhuizen.

Du Plessis will head up the Unlimited Charity Batch to raise awareness for the Unlimited Child, an early childhood intervention initiative and one of the official event charities.

“I love a challenge and am always ready to tackle something new. I also have a really competitive streak, so I could not resist when Sias approached me to join this initiative,” Msengana said.

She said she was committed to maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle and this should add a new dimension to her exercise regime as she has never paddled before.

“The running will definitely be an extreme endurance test as I’ve had operations to both my knees, but I’ll be training hard over the next couple of months to make sure that I can complete 10 kilometres of portage, which means carrying the canoe on land. In addition, I’m also doing a lot of rowing and super circuit at the gym to build up my strength and cardio-fitness.”

During the run-up to the Dusi in February, Msengana will be competing in a number of canoe races.

She has been coached by former Dusi winner Thulani Mbanjwa.

She will be paddling with 11-time world champion surf skier Oscar ­Chalupsky, who has guided well-known personalities such as Bafana coach Clive Barker, soccer star Doctor Khumalo and former Miss South Africa Peggy Sue Khumalo down the river for the marathon.

Msenga will be getting her paddles wet for her first race this weekend with paddling partner Craig Mustard during The Unlimited Ozzie Gladwin, the biggest one-day canoe race in South Africa.

“I’m really looking forward to getting into the river and getting some race experience,” Msengana said.

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