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Sport
Three Maties paddle to polo victory

Three members of the Maties Canoe Club Development Group were part of the u-21 WP team that won gold at the SA Canoe Polo Champs held in Gauteng earlier this month.

Camurin Abrahams, Dale Pretorius and Jevandre Plaatjies, all from Vlottenburg, Stellenbosch, played for the WP u-21 team, which won gold at the SA Polo Champs held at the East Rand Kayak club in Benoni from the 1 to 2 May.

Afterwards they were also selected to play in the national pool and stand a chance to get chosen for the SA team, which will compete in the World Polo Champs in Rome next year.

A further five members of the group, Keeshia Lackey, Romano Lackey, Luchon Ambros, Chandelle Sampson and Dale Pretorius were also chosen to be part of the u-16 WP teams. The WP u-16 ladies’ team won a silver medal in their class at the SA Polo Champs 2021.

Says head coach Cassandra Jones who has been managing the Maties Canoe Club Development group for many years now: “Covid affected the calendar for tournaments badly as they were cancelled and training sessions had to be scaled down.

“This of course affected the paddlers fitness levels and level of play. However, when Canoeing South Africa (CSA) gave the go ahead for us to start training the paddlers and the coaches put in the hours with sessions up to three times a week as well as most Saturdays.

“There has been a vast improvement from the level of play since when the paddlers attended SA Canoe Polo Champs in 2019.

“Now our dedication and hard work paid off. This year, all our opponents in Gauteng congratulated the paddlers on their improvement over the last two years.

“We are getting news this week about who has made the national squad and of course are holding thumbs for Camurin Abrahams, Dale Pretorius and Jevandre Plaatjies. Should any of them be selected for the u-21 national squad they would play at the World Champs in Rome in 2022.”

Canoeing South Africa (CSA), Channelling Change and Sport for Life NGO are the main funders of the Maties Canoe Club Development Project although some senior members of the club also contributed to travelling costs to the SA Canoe Polo Champs in Gauteng.

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