Published on January 31st, 2024 | by Paddleworld

He dared to dream | South African Canoe Champion

Explore the profound bond between Sbonelo and the world of canoeing in the rural landscapes of South Africa. Sbonelo’s narrative unfolds as he embarks on a transformative journey, propelling him towards the pinnacle of sporting excellence.

« More about Sbonelo Khwela Growing up in rural South Africa, Sbonelo’s first moments in water were when he would herd cows down to the river. Even at an early age, Sbonelo knew that he would have to work hard to uplift himself. Canoeing naturally came into his life through the Martin Dreyer Academy. After less than a year since he first claimed into a canoe, Sbonelo was winning races and competing against some of the country’s top professionals.
The community at large however did not understand why Sbonelo was occupying his time with canoeing. But the sport triggered a sense of purpose, and a young black man began to dream of achieving something greater. He was ready to go the distance and become a champion. Today, Sbonelo can look back at a remarkable career. In 2014 he became South Africa’s second black athlete to win the Dusi Canoe Marathon (K2 Category).
He is also the record holder of the Non-Stop Dusi Marathon, winning the marathon an unprecedented 9 times. Sbonelo has been celebrated for his dedication to canoeing and has become a prominent figure in the canoeing community in South Africa.« 

Film Director | Dominic Taylor |   / _dominic_taylor  

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