Durban - The Canoeing South Africa board recently elected Kim Pople to take over from Christo Horn as the president of the federation, becoming the second female president of the sport’s national governing body.
Pople's administrative pedigree speaks for itself and her selfless approach to the sport of canoeing has been rewarded when she won the Volunteer of the Year award at the 2016 South African Sports Awards for her work with development at the Umzinyathi Canoe Club based at Shongweni Dam just outside Durban.
Canoeing in South Africa is one of the shining lights when it comes to development of paddlers and Pople's efforts have been vital in taking the sport to the masses.
"I am excited about taking up the position of president and as people know we do this for the love of the sport," Pople said.
"Development in canoeing is in a strong place at the moment and I want to get canoeing to everyone in South Africa.
"Being heavily involved in canoeing has meant that being elected president has been an evolution from where I started.
Secretary general of Canoeing South Africa Colin Simpkins is positive that Pople, who has the administrative pedigree to do well, will be successful.
"Kim has been the vice-president for the past year or so, and has been extensively involved in the sport over the past few years.
"She currently runs the high performance development program in KZN but he has just stepped down as chairperson of the Umzinyathi Canoe Club. She was the chief organiser of the 2016 African Sprint Championships, and fully deserved her ‘Volunteer of the Year’ award at the SA sports awards last year.
"Kim was the assistant manager to the SA marathon team this year and is the "go to" person for anything paddling in the Durban region."
Horn had been at the help of canoeing in South Africa from 2012 and served his term with distinction and Simpkins was full of praise for the out-going president.
"Christo's contribution to the sport has been immeasurable over the years," Simpkins said.
"Not one for theatrics and fanfare, Christo just got on with it, and quietly got the job done.
"He did not suffer fools, and often did not mix his words either and his energy and contribution will be sorely missed."