Canoeing South Africa Media Release

 No: CSA2015

7 Aug 2020

 Embargo : None

Written by: Dave Macleod

Canoeing South Africa celebrates the roles of women

Durban - Canoeing South Africa celebrates the role of female athletes, administrators and supporters on Women’s Day on Sunday, as the federation’s president Kim Pople urges women to continue to build on the vital roles they play in the sport.

Women’s Day commemorates the 1956 march of approximately 20,000 women to the Union Buildings in Pretoria to petition against the country's pass laws.

“It is an absolute honour to stand amongst the women in our sport,” said Pople.

“We celebrate women standing on podiums representing South Africa at international level, and excelling at provincial level and club level,” she said, highlighting a group that includes South Africa’s only Olympic canoeing medallist Bridgitte Hartley and surfski world champions Hayley Nixon, currently a finalist in the G Sport Awards Athlete of the Year category, and Michéle Eray.

Pople added that many women played a particularly significant role off the water as the sport places a very heavy reliance on seconding and race support.

“The women who are seconding paddlers, driving vehicles and getting nutrition and fluids to athletes, often in difficult circumstances, at the same time looking after family members - these are some of the unsung heroes of our sport,” said Pople.

With Pople serving as the federation’s president, the CSA Board includes a number of influential women playing critical parts in the administration of the sport, particularly during the demanding times created by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Janet Simpkins and Hayley Nixon do a fantastic job on the CSA Board. Simpkins drives our development programme with such energy and enthusiasm and is also a major role player in our environmental efforts to keep our waterways clean, and she has been a major driving force behind our Canoeing4Covid food relief programme as well as our Guardian programme aimed at protecting the vulnerable in our sport.

“Hayley has been a long-standing advocate for the role of women in sport and also serves on the International Canoe Federation Athletes Commission,” she added.

“We celebrate the role our women play in all aspects of canoeing during the whole month of August as Women’s Month and at the same time we pay tribute to the men that support these women,” Pople stressed.

She added that the sport stood united behind addressing the critical issues confronting women worldwide. “We fully support all the campaigns to deal with and eradicate Gender Based Violence,” she added.

Pople added that she would be celebrating Women’s Day on a milestone occasion outside Pietermaritzburg where the first canoeing event to be allowed back under the lockdown regulations takes places under strict protocols on the Upper Mngeni River below Albert Falls dam.

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Canoeing South Africa Logo (GIF).  

“It is an absolute honour to stand amongst the women in our sport,” said Canoeing South Africa president Kim Pople.

Gameplan Media

The Africa Games gold medal winning women's 500m K4 crew (from front to back): Bridgitte Hartley, Donna Hutton, Nosipho Mthembu and Esti van Tonder. “We celebrate women standing on podiums representing South Africa at international level, and excelling at provincial level and club level,” said Canoeing South Africa president Kim Pople.

Janet Simpkins/
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