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Berg River race suspended

Following the move to adjusted Level 4 lockdown regulations in response to the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic third wave, Canoeing South Africa has taken the decision to suspend all its events until 11 July.

The banning of social gatherings and Canoeing South Africa’s view that canoeing events are gatherings means the organisers couldn’t responsibly host events, and the events calendar has been suspended for two weeks.

The main event that has to be moved now is the Berg River Canoe Marathon, which was supposed to have taken place from next Wednesday.

Canoeing South Africa president Kim Pople has pleaded with all paddlers to adhere to the new restrictions put in place.

“With the ban on gatherings at beaches and dams it means that dices and large training groups cannot go ahead,” she said.

“Yes we can paddle, and that’s what we need to look at for the next two weeks.

“We can still get outdoors and paddle, but with the governments definition of gatherings we cannot hosts events or club activities, but individuals can still get out and paddle.

“Let’s all play our part over the next two weeks, especially up in Gauteng.” Visits to and from the province for recreational purposes is banned owing to the severity of the Covid-19 third wave there.

Pople stresses paddlers are still allowed to train, but they must be responsible and use the same protocols they used in 2020, when they were given the green light to paddle after the first hard lockdown.

“It’s two weeks for us, and then we will wait and see what the government says, but one can still get out there and paddle,” she said. “We do ask paddlers that do come out to arrive, train and depart, as we did a year ago.”

Given the potential severity of this third wave of infections Pople does believe that this suspension won’t be a protracted one. She said: “From our discussions events will go ahead from August and September as per normal and we may be limited in terms of batch sizes but luckily we can work around that. With the Cape racing season taking place now with the winter rains we will keep an eye out on what is happening down there.

“We won’t be sitting around for the next two weeks, we will be proactive with government and plotting and planning the next six to eight weeks of our event calendar.”

For more details: www.canoesa.org.za

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