The amount of paddlers racing to get their late Non Stop entries in, is indicative of the amount of rain that has fallen in KZN lately – plenty. Nagle and Inanda are spilling over, which has not happened in the previous 10 months.

I have five warriors from the ‘change a life’ academy taking on the Comrades of Canoeing tomorrow morning. ‘Why not more guys’, some people have asked. One forgets how young these boys are, mostly 17 to 18 years old,  Maritzburg to Durbs is a mammoth journey to tackle.



 Thomas and Eric are paddling K2 (15th & 9th at Dusi). They are my two strongest runners and if all goes well, will hopefully finish in the top 2 overall. With the gameplan we have discussed, they will end up portaging a total of 30km with their canoe by the time they paddle across the finish line at Blue Lagoon. You must see the fire in their eyes.

Zonele and Nhlanhla are the other K2 (14th & 33rd at Dusi). They have the potential to sneak a podium position if they execute the perfect race – no swims or boat damage. Both had to get permission to miss school tomorrow as they are in Grade 12.


Lucas (10th at Dusi) is the Lone Ranger taking on the K1.  

Till a week ago he was planning on seconding his mates. The daunting thought of doing the Non Stop was just too much for him until I planted the seed that the pain and suffering he might endure in the race could easily be offset by the lucrative prize money on offer. First prize – a whopping R10 000 (more than he earns the entire year) was just too much of a good thing to let slip without giving it a full go. Believe me, Lucas will dig to the bottom of his reserves and more to get onto that podium.

 Five other ‘change a life’ guys will join the three vehicle seconding team. Tonight all the boys will sleep at the Drift in the Gym in the NCC clubhouse. Hopefully the noisy Thursday Dice fish & chips paddlers will not stay too late. Parklane Spar (Cameron McKenzie)  have generously made ‘real’ food for the guys for  dinner  – Samp & beans, curried mince and putu, which I must go pick up just now.

 Will let you know how the tale unfolds…..


Todays shoot for the E. TV evening News and the SABC news.


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The state also has expanded the number of small academies that blend academic and career-technical study

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