Dusi Canoe Marathon postponed by a month

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Dusi Canoe Marathon. (Anthony Grote/Gameplan Media)
Dusi Canoe Marathon. (Anthony Grote/Gameplan Media)

The Dusi Canoe Marathon has been postponed by a month to 18-20 March, organisers announced on Wednesday.

This follows a spike in Covid-19 cases in KwaZulu-Natal and around the country.

Given the emergency meeting of the National Command Council on Wednesday, Canoeing South Africa (CSA) and the Dusi organising committee felt they needed to make a quick decision to reassure paddlers that the event will still take place in 2021.

"With the current regulations in place and the current situation with regards to Covid-19 in the province we have to postpone the race," event organiser Shane Le Breton said in a statement.

"Our main priority has always been the safety of our paddlers and given the current situation we felt that we had no other option but to delay the race.

"It's our responsibility to adhere to all the current governmental guidelines and that means we will welcome paddlers to the start of the 2021 Dusi on 18 March."

As infections rise throughout the country many paddlers have also been affected by Covid-19 and Le Breton knows that a postponement of the event has a strong silver lining.

"It's an extra month to prepare for all paddlers but especially those that have been affected by Covid-19.

"This extra month of training will help in making up for the time lost during the current regulations where people aren't allowed to paddle."

Kim Pople, president of Canoeing South Africa, said during an online discussion that the postponement was the best option to take.

"Speaking to government officials and looking at how the Eastern Cape has gone we sincerely hope that we have got our numbers right.

"Getting the dates out there is for everyone so they can work out their training as well as all the other issues that come with racing.

"From a medical point of view at our big races we always have a medical issue whether it be broken limbs or broken ribs which means hospital. There are no hospital beds in KwaZulu-Natal and that is what we have to respect.

"To take away medical officials to look after us on a river is not going to happen," she added candidly.

- Gameplan Media

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