THE CENTURY CITY CANOE CLUB
Century City Canoe Club is based at Century City which has 7km of man-made navigable canals along which our club members paddle their canoes. The club makes use of the multi-purpose Century City clubhouse owned by the Century City Property Owner’s Association (CCPOA) for club functions. Every Tuesday evening the club hosts a 10km time trial which starts at 18:15 along a route which takes the paddlers around Intaka Island and up the Grand Canal past Canal Walk. The club also rents a double garage from the CCPOA in which club members store their canoes.
The seed for a new canoe club at Century City was planted in 2007 when three club members approached the Century City Property Owners Association (CCPOA) to discuss the possibility of establishing a canoe club at Century City.
CCPOA bought into the idea from the start and gave us their support which lead to the establishment in 2008 of a temporary facility on a vacant piece of ground adjacent the waterways. Initially, our clubhouse was a shipping container furnished with a sofa and a few lounging chairs which members donated. Another member donated a solar water heating system which provided members with an outdoor shower after their paddle.
THE NUMBER OF CLUB MEMBERS
From the humble beginnings in 2008 mentioned above, the club has grown to the extent that we now currently have 98 members. Our club members are very active in races in and around the Western Cape and other parts of the country. 8 of our club members recently completed the 4 day Berg River Canoe Marathon over 240km in the Western Cape, 22 completed the Breede River Canoe Marathon in the Western Cape and 14 completed the Fish River Marathon in the Eastern Cape. Our members have also compete in races such as the Dusi Canoe Marathon in KwaZulu-Natal.
THE CENTURY CITY CANALS
We always have water to paddle on at Century City as the water levels are maintained at a relatively constant depth and we are unaffected by tides which can be a problem for canoe clubs based on stretches of water near river mouths. The depth of the canals is approximately 1.5m which makes the canals safer for novices wishing to take up the sport as they will in many cases be able to stand on the bottom of the canals if they fall out of their canoes.
The wind can be a problem when paddling in the Western Cape especially in the summer months. At Century City the canals are generally protected from the wind by the surrounding buildings. As the canals are unaffected by tides and as water is pumped into the canal, if the water levels have dropped during the summer months, many members at Century City Canoe Club practise their sport throughout the year by paddling on the canals at Century City. Due to the relative and non flowing water in the canals at Century City, the canals are particularly suitable for use by novices wishing to learn how to paddle.
THE USE OF CLUB FACILITY BY OTHER WATER SPORT
We have a number of Stand Up Paddlers (who paddle on stand up surf boards) who have joined the club. They use the canals to improve their board paddling skills and fitness and to provide training for new entrants to the sport. Furthermore, the club committee believes that the Century City canals and particularly the Grand Canal in front of the Canal Walk shopping centre, is a particularly suitable venue for the hosting of canoe and polo tournaments. Canoe polo is experiencing resurgence in popularity in the Western Cape and Century City Canoe Club has expressed an interest in hosting canoe polo events in the future. In order to take part in canoe polo events, the club will require equipment in the form of canoes, paddles and life jackets for use by its members.
CLUB DEVELOPMENT AND COACHING
For the reasons set out above, the canals at Century City are particularly suitable for use by novices wishing to learn how to paddle. The club is very active in training novices and hosts a coaching clinic for all grades of paddlers on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings and afternoons on the Century City canals. An example of the efforts of the club in introducing novices to the sport and coaching then to race readiness, is that two club members who were entirely new to the sport, completed the 4 day Berg River Canoe Marathon in July after having taken up the sport for the first time in March.
The central location of Century City, with easy access from the N1 Highway and its close proximity to Milnerton and Edgemead and the poorer suburbs of Brooklyn, Rugby and Joe Slovo, make it the ideal club for the development of paddlers from poorer communities.
Since the inception of the club, it has been the intention of the committee of Century City Canoe Club to develop the sport in the surrounding poorer communities. The club committee believes that the membership numbers have grown to a size where the club can now provide for coaching and development of paddlers from poorer communities at the canals at Century City.
It has always been a goal of the club committee to support the sustainability and development of canoeing across the Western Cape. The club committee has endeavoured to achieve this goal by hosting canoeing races throughout the year and to take on additional races, as the club expands and acquires the means to afford the races through club membership fees, sponsorships and member support.
The club has hosted and continues to host the following Western Cape Canoe Union sanctioned races:
– Western Province Junior Championships
– Team Pursuit Race
– Reverse Order Race
– Berg River Hermon to Gouda K1 Championships
– Breede River Eilandia to Robertson K2 Race
The club also hosts the following events in support of club and local membership:
– Club training is hosted on Monday and Friday and Saturday mornings when there is no race scheduled. Tuesday and Thursday afternoons are also training times , usually from 17:30 on.
– Junior training is hosted on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons
– Canoeing orientation training is hosted for new members on request
– Club Time Trials are hosted on Tuesday evenings
The club committee also arranges regular trips for club members on various rivers in the Western Cape to introduce novices to river paddling and also to provide training for the more experienced paddlers.