COUNTING DOWN…..27 days to go

Training, racing and Life is going fantastically down in the Valley of a Thousand Hills.

The guys have adapted magnificently into the routine of regular hard training. They have engaged the goal of making the top 50 like a missile locked on the enemy target.

It is highly unlikely that everyone feels good at every training session. The problem is that none of them speak up if they are ‘feeling off’ (stomach bug, injury, over-trained).  My biggest hurdle is trying to detect those that are struggling and get them to sit out or take it easy.





 Our weekly Wednesday 8km Hi-Tec running time trial saw Eric set a new record. He blended within the pack for 12min, then after running through the tunnel under the dam, surged aggressively into the lead and never looked back.










A friend of mine came along to experience our cross country course. Afterwards, having thoroughly enjoyed the up and down single track around the dam, he remarked “Mart, maybe the guys should think of keeping themselves warm and not splash around in the dam (almost dark)”.

“They’re not playing, they’re bathing themselves as they don’t have any showers etc. at home”, I replied. He stood there watching them, gob smacked. “We don’t realize how good we have it”, he uttered.

 Everyday I am humbled by these youngsters, realizing that you don’t need much to be happy.

 Then I gave them a lift to Atwel’s (works for Umgeni Water) house 400m down the road to below the dam wall, where I gave them a Christmas food bag of mielie meal, rice, potatoes and onions to take back to their families.







They were so happy to be ‘providers’ for their families for the first time. Then telling them that Spur has offered a free meal to all those that achieve the goal of Top 50 in the Dusi resulted in the biggest smiles. Little do they know that the whole squad is  invited irrespective of their results.


I subsequently am in Jhb to catch up with Computershare, give them a report back on the programme and try persuade the CEO and senior executives to join me in the support crew for the ‘change a life’ athletes come Dusi.

Looking forward to paddling doubles with a good friend in the 60km Cape Point Surfski Challenge tomorrow morning at sparrows. I have left the academy in good hands, Lucas is in charge of the ‘change a life guys’ for the next week till I get back on the 28th of Dec.

 To those of you that I will not see soon, the Merriest of Christmas’s to You.


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3 Responses to “COUNTING DOWN…..27 days to go”

  • Liz Stapelberg:

    Well done Martin, with the focus and dedication shown by all I’m sure you will achieve success.

  • Mark Schroeder:

    Howzit Martin ,
    Simply ….Well Done !
    Your passion is inspiring.
    Over the years I have always been almost jealous of the ” heart and dedication ” of “development” paddlers ( all over the country ) . To watch them racing , mostly coming past you , bare foot , no water bottle , old equipment , usually up an impossibly steep hill , and from a background you can only comprehend having spent time in the valley , makes one really admire them . Never complaining , always smiling . Compared to the likes of myself , with a new paddle or boat whenever I need one , an aircondidtioned car and usually a comfotable BnB .

    Martin , I would like to offer help to your cause. I am based in Jhb , doing your classic corporate job. If possible , I would like to make a donation , whilst it may not be anything significant , even if it means only one new rudder blade , or paddle , or pump or meal or towel or track suit or what ever ?

    Let me know ?

    I will be away from the 24th of Dec to the 19th of Jan ( yip , missing Duzi this year ) but before or after this time I would love to make a small donation , and continue donations for the following year ?

    Martin , You certainly are changing lives !

    Kindest Regards

  • Michele E:

    Hey Mart
    Awesome stuff!
    Do you have any girls in your program?

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