2016 FNB Dusi Canoe
Change a Lifers aim to fly high at FNB Dusi
Pietermaritzburg – The remarkable running abilities and rapidly developing
river skills of the Computershare Change a Life Academy’s canoeists has seen
the Valley of a Thousand Hills competitors become hot property ahead of this
year’s FNB Dusi Canoe Marathon which takes place from 18-20 February.
The academy’s history of a strong presence within the event’s top 20 and
throughout the junior and Under-23 age groups is set to be somewhat diluted
in 2016 after numerous Change a Life ‘Zulus’ received requests from
non-academy paddlers to team up for this year’s FNB Dusi.
“We’ve got as many as five or six of our Zulus who have formed partnerships
with guys from outside of our academy for this year’s Dusi,” confirmed ‘Dusi
Duke’ and academy founder, Martin Dreyer.
“A lot of guys from outside the Change a Life family are now asking our guys
to do Dusi with them because of what our guys can bring to a partnership!”
While at first it was tempting to look to keep the academy’s talent
in-house, Dreyer soon realized the growth potential pairing with paddlers
from outside the CAL talent pool could bring to his athletes.
“We first experienced this phenomenon in our mountain biking setup because
of their regular success on the local circuit and now it is happening to our
“Initially it was a bit of a difficult one to swallow as our gut feel was to
try to keep the Change a Life family together.
“I soon realized though that this type of thing is good for our guys’
development as it provides them with important life experiences that come
from interacting and competing with someone from a different background to
“It has also been such a compliment to just how far our team has come since
we first started; our academy has developed to such a high level that our
guys are now being outsourced!
“It’s time for us to spread the love while our guys have got to experience
everything an continue to grow as individuals.
“We’ve given them their wings, now we’ve got to let them fly!” said Dreyer
Dreyer’s 2007 FNB Dusi winning partner and Computershare Change a Life
ambassador Thulani Mbanjwa (Build it/Williams Hunt) is one of the academy’s
bigger name to be pairing up with a ‘foreign’ partner as he and former
Olympian and Marathon World Champion Shaun Rubenstein look to challenge for
a podium place in the highly competitive men’s race.
Former FNB Dusi fourth place finisher and embedded Computershare Change a
Life Academy member Kwanda Mhlophe will take on the challenge with good
friend and former Valley of a Thousand Hills paddler, now living in
Johannesburg, Loveday Zondi (SCARC) with the pair eyeing out yet another top
“Mhlonishwa Hlongwane, who finished eighth in last year’s K1 Dusi, and
Nqobile Makhanya were another strong combination that were looking to do
well together,” explained Dreyer.
“About a month ago Mhlonishwa unfortunately had to pull out of their pairing
because the dive course that he started with the Sharks Board shortly after
last year’s Dusi, saw him posted at Langebaan in the Western Cape and unable
to take part in this year’s race.
“Nqobile has however now managed to link up with Irvin Dixon for Dusi.”
Exciting junior talent Mpilo Zondi is another set to compete with an
outsider at the 120km, three day event after he and Fish Hoek based surfski
and marathon sensation Mark Keeling confirmed their combination.
A strong showing at the StaminaGro 50 Miler in December suggests the young
pair will be a major force to be reckoned with in the U18 boys race while
also outlining another interesting step in the academy’s progression.
“It has been great to see our guys not only being invited by others to
paddle with them, but they are in fact now being asked to drive their
boats,” explained Dreyer.
“It’s nice to see our guys standing on their own two feet and taking
ownership of the partnership.”
The Computershare Change a Life Acamdemy’s stars however aren’t all part of
‘mixed’ partnerships with many still combining to form exciting all-CAL
Euro Steel/Red Bull sponsored athlete and Change a Life product Sbonelo
Khwela had endured a dramatic build up to this year’s FNB Dusi with partner
and fellow CAL star Banetse Nkhoesa, with the pair eyeing a top three
Lucas Mthalane and Sipho Canham, Nhlahla Cele and Mthobisi Cele, Mmeli Cele
and Khumbulani Nzimande, Thomas Ngidi and Siboniso Shozi as well as Thabani
Msiya and Msawenkosi Mtolo are also all eager to leave their mark on this
year’s race amongst the senior and Under-23 ranks.
Skhumbuzo Ngidi and Nkosi Cele, Mzamo Zondi and Siyanda Gwamande together
with Nkosi Mabaso and Jabulani Gwamande will also be looking to fly the
Change a Life flag high.
The FNB Dusi Canoe Marathon takes place from Camps Drift, Pietermaritzburg
to Blue Lagoon, Durban from 18-20 February 2016. More
information can be found at www.dusi.co.za
Click to download the hi-res
FNB Dusi Canoe Marathon logo (Landscape) - GIF
FNB Dusi Canoe Marathon logo
(Portrait) - GIF
Computershare Change a Life
Academy stars Mmeli Cele (front) and Khumbulani Nzimande (back) represent
one of the setup's most exciting duos ahead of the 2016 FNB Dusi Canoe
Kwanda Mhlophe (front) is one of
a handful of Computershare Change a Life athletes looking to braoden their
horizons by taking on the 2016 FNB Dusi Canoe Marathon with SCARC's Loveday
Zondi (back)n and other non-academy paddlers.
Computershare Change a Life's
Lucas Mthalane (front) and Sipho Canham (back) will be hoping for a solid
three days paddling and running during the 2016 FNB Dusi Canoe Marathon.
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