Maties development canoeists vying for 2024 China World Champs
Maties Canoe Club development paddlers who have excelled this past year by not only representing South Africa at the World Junior Championships in Belfast and the African Championship in Gauteng, are now vying for selection into the SA team for the 2024 World Championships in China.
“Our two eldest canoe polo players Camurin Abrahams (18) and Dale Pretorius (17) stand a fair chance of being selected into the u.21 national team during the upcoming National Canoe Polo training and selection camp in December this year,” says coach Prof. Susannne Fietz.
“Taking into account that both of them were already awarded SA National Federation Colours after their participation in U18 teams in July this year at the World Junior Canoe Polo Champs in Belfast, Northern Ireland it makes them good contenders for the China trip,” says Susanne.
The dedication of coach Suzanne over the past four years who is also a Department Earth Sciences professor at the Stellenbosch University is certainly paying off judged by her overall results of her training group such as:
- In March 2023, they won the SA Canoe Polo Champs u.18 in a mixed team as “Western Cape Selection” with players from Peninsula Canoe Club
- In July they went to Belfast, Northern Ireland, for the World Junior Championships. Camurin Abrahams and Dale Pretorius played in the national junior u.18A team, Keeshia Lackay played in the national junior u.18 ladies team, and Romano Lackay played in the national u.16 team. For this tournament, Camurin was selected team captain for the u.18A team. Romano won with the u.16 the Silver League in the u.16 category. Romano was only 13 at the time of the tournament. He was the youngest player of the squad.
- All four received Federation colours for the participation at the World Junior Championships In Belfast.
- In September, Camurin, Dale and Keeshia went to Joburg to play African Champs. Camurin was selected for the RSA u.21 national team, Dale played u.21B, Keeshia played u.21 ladies. Romano was invited but there was not sufficient funding for him.
- Camurin received Federation colours again for his participation in the RSA u.21 National Team at African Champs.
“We are really impressed with the results achieved by the Maties Canoe Club’s development team, so much so that we will also provide coach Susanne with some interns to supplement her excellent work with her group of paddlers,” says Karen Swart, Maties Canoe Club sport manager.
The Maties Canoe Club’s development group of some 20 paddlers, some as young as 8 years old, attend up to 3 training sessions a week under the supervision of coach Susanne Fietz and compete in all local and national championships as far as funding allows them.