As the continued coronavirus lockdown grips the country, Canoeing South Africa will host a 24 hour Canoeing4COVID-19 event this weekend as a way to raise funds for members of the broader paddling community that have been badly affected by the lockdown.
The brainchild of CSA President Kim Pople, the event is open to people from all over the world coming together online to perform thirty minutes of exercise over a 24 hour period to raise funds to provide food parcels and aid.
“I have been in contact with a number of the development teams throughout the country as well as the broader paddling community and hunger has become a serious issue,” Pople said.
“Since the increase in the lockdown period the effects have been devastating so we are hoping to use social media as a way to bring our community together to help the rest of our community in need.”
With various different ways of exercising Pople is encouraging all those people in the canoeing community to come out and get involved during the 24 hour challenge.
“I am amazed at how many ergo machines we have in this country so if you have an ergo get on it!
“We have seen people’s swimming pool contraptions that allow them to paddle at home, so get those out again. For those of us that don’t have paddling equipment can be on stationary bicycles, doing pull ups, press ups or whatever exercise you want.
“It is going to be a virtual relay to raise money for our community!” Pople mentioned enthusiastically. “We have a Facebook event set up and we encourage participants to post their pictures or videos during their exercise routine and challenge others to get involved.”
The funds generated will be managed by the specific COVID-19 subcommittee that has been set up by Canoeing South Africa.
With the event spanning 24 hours Pople hopes that friends of the paddling community abroad and ex-pat South Africa paddlers will also get involved.
“We are only looking for a minimum donation of R10 from you. We have a Zapper code available on social media and on our website that you can use and we will provide our banking details too for you too.
She said the rally was a show of solidarity amongst paddlers worldwide as well as an effort to raise money to alleviate the suffering caused by the extended lockdown.
“I don’t ask for much help but I need you guys to come and help us help the rest of our community,” she added.
The 24 hour Canoeing4COVID-19 event will start with an open group ergometer session on the CSA Facebook page led by surfski ace Kenny Rice at midday on Saturday while former surfski world champ Hayley Nixon will lead an open paddlers gym session at 9am on Sunday morning.