Paarl Canoe Club has a Development Program enabling children from previously disadvantaged communities in and around Paarl to learn the sport of canoeing. They provide a coach, Wayne August, who himself started in their Development Program, use of the canoes, transport to and from the Berg River and a meal at the end of their training session. Many of the children in these surrounding communities have absent fathers and mothers who work very late trying to earn an income to provide for their families. Canoeing gives these children an opportunity to change their lives and be hopeful for their futures. They all dream of one day being an Olympic paddler and there is no reason for them to believe otherwise. Most days you will find the development teams on the water, having fun and working hard to make their dreams come true.

In the words of Wayne August “In the last 10 years that I have been paddling my world has grown from only knowing Paarl & Cape Town, to attending regattas in Germany, Australia, Spain, Singapore, Kenya and Ivory Coast. I have grown a lot since I started doing the sport. I have grown as a person, my self-confidence and my mind set have become very positive.”