Following the spike in COVID-19 cases in KwaZulu-Natal and around the country, organisers of the MyLife Dusi Canoe Marathon and representatives from Canoeing South Africa (CSA) have decided to postpone the race by a month to 18-20 March 2021.
Given the emergency meeting of the National Command Council on Wednesday, CSA and the MyLife Dusi organising committee felt that they needed to make a quick decision to reassure paddlers that the event will still take place this year.
“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.
“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 MyLife 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.”
Talking during an online discussion, President of Canoeing South Africa Kim Pople believes that this postponement is the best option and that they have calculated correctly.
“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.