Canoeing in schools is not as pre-dominant as other sports like rugby, tennis or netball. But over the years this sport has become more popular, especially in the Cape Area. There are quite a few events that learners can participate in from the Western Cape Marathon Championships to various other competitions organized by the Western Cape Canoe Union.

The sport is not available in most mainstream schools; those pupils who wish to participate need to join a school canoe club. There are schools, like Bridge House, located in Franschhoek, which offers this activity along with water polo, mountain biking and a number of other sports. Many budding canoeing students also participate in the South African Schools Sprints Championships held annually.

The Governing Body for the sport is Canoeing South Africa. This organization is also associated with the International Canoe Federation as well as the African Canoe Confederation. There are also a number of variations available from kayaking, surf ski, canoe polo, canoe freestyle and wild water rafting among others.

Canoeing is a great way to keep healthy and improve fitness levels, and of course to just enjoy the great outdoors. South Africa also has numerous places and rivers that are perfect for canoeing. By joining a canoe club, you will have access to the best information and equipment. Most of the clubs are close to water where you will start with the basics.

Many of the clubs will also loan out equipment if you need it and will have knowledge of all the competitions and events planned for the year. There are certain benefits of participating in canoeing, as with all sports.

Benefits of Canoeing:

  • Canoeing offers a full body workout and uses all the major muscle groups while paddling.
  • The sport is a great cardiovascular workout
  • Unlike jogging or some other sports, canoeing is an impact-free activity
  • Great for strength training
  • Participants are close to nature