Paddling out Together at Berg River Canoe Marathon
The Western Cape Canoe Union, in partnership with the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport and the Drakenstein Municipality, brought together hundreds of paddlers and supporters at the opening stage of the 2012 Windhoek Berg River Canoe Marathon in Paarl on Wednesday, 11 July 2012. The four-day event was opened by the Western Cape Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Dr Ivan Meyer, who fired the starting gun under the Market Street bridge. The involvement and support of community members was a highlight of a very successful opening event which saw hundreds of paddlers take to the water.
The department has a proud history of supporting this marathon. This was again evident this year as the minister encouraged the paddlers and expressed his gratitude for their role in helping to create social inclusion in the Western Cape.
This marathon is the longest canoe race in South Africa and is regarded as amongst the toughest in the world. With four days of competitive paddling over 240 km from Zonquasdrift in Paarl to Zoutkloof in Velddrif, this race is definitely a treat for the wild at heart.
From its humble beginnings in 1962, the race has become a premier canoeing event and the department and its partners are proud to be associated with it. This marathon establishes the Western Cape as the preferred destination for canoe events in the country.
Participation in sport is an integral part of the department's drive to create opportunities for all in competitive events which also offer recreational opportunities for spectators, highlighting the benefits of social cohesion "better together".