Two Encounter paddlers from Victor Harbor shook up a world class field last month in South Africa, winning a silver medal and bronze.
Cathy Venning secured bronze in her individual event and silver in the mixed double event with team mate Marc Brehin at the Master’s World Cup at Pietermaritzburg in South Africa.
Cathy started paddling in 2007 and this year committed to reaching her goal of being selected in the Australian Marathon Canoeing team to compete in South Africa. Cathy achieved this through hard work.
In March this year, Cathy nominated for the Australian team at the national championships and competed in K1 (singles kayak) and doubles (two person kayak) with Encounter Paddling team mate Marc Brehin.
She returned with two national championships and a place on the Australian team.
The pair would trained through a Victor Harbor winter in preparation for the World Cup.
Marc Brehin said it was made easier by the tremendous support of fellow club members who participated in many extra trainings.
“We were lucky to have the support of our training squad, but especially that of John Findlay of Encounter paddling and Dale Thompson of the Onkaparinga Canoe Club,” Marc said.
Encounter Paddling also supported Cathy and Marc with the supply of an elite level K2 and financial assistance with the transport of boats to and from South Africa.
“Special thanks to Tony Sims and the club committee as well as the Boulevard Café on the Lake for their valuable support and generous financial contributions”.
The World Cup was held on a segment of the Dusi River in Pietermaritzburg and hosted by the Natal Canoe Club.
The Encounter Paddling pair were supported at the championships by Meryl Brehin and Bronwyn Venning as well as other paddlers and supporters from around the country.
Racing was held in near perfect conditions over a tough and shallow 4.25 kilometre lap course requiring portages on each lap.
As a coach to Encounter Paddling’s junior and senior athletes, Cathy has demonstrated what rewards can be gained from hard work through training and tenacity in competition.
Training resumes at Encounter Paddling in preparation for next year’s national marathon championships to be held in May.
The club is keen to make this event the focus of their training and to prepare a squad of varying age groups with a view to strong results.