Cradock - Two of South African rugby’s former hard-men, Tiaan Strauss and Corné Krige, will be paddling the 2014 Hansa Fish River Canoe Marathon for the Corné Krige Children's Charity that helps underprivileged school children in the Cradock area and both are looking forward to the two-day journey when the race gets underway at the Grassridge Dam on Friday.
The pair will be paddling in K3 crafts as well as representing the charity that Krige and long-time friend Billy van Zyl began through their shared passion for helping children in need.
Krige is excited by the prospect of getting back into a canoe with Van Zyl and is looking forward to making a difference within the community that the Hansa Fish takes place in.
“I did the race in 2012 and I absolutely loved it,” the former Springbok captain said. “Billy invited me and said that we would be doing it for the local charity and I was really excited about getting involved and supporting the local people, especially helping out the local kids.
“It doesn’t help if you do the race and the money goes off to Cape Town or out of the area so that is something that is great about the charity initiative at the Hansa Fish, the benefits stay within the community,” Krige added.
With Krige’s mind set firmly on raising money for a worthy cause the preparation for the event has taken a bit of a backseat but the former loose forward is not too worried about his lack of training in the lead-up to the race.
“I have done absolutely no training at all! If I get in a boat on Thursday before the race that will be the first time I’ve got in a boat this year!
“I managed to convince my wife to do the race this year and she hasn’t done any training either so it will be fun!” he added with excitement.
Another former Springbok Tiaan Strauss will making his maiden voyage down the Fish River and despite the excitement that comes with this he is also looking forward to making a difference within the local community of Cradock.
“Billy (van Zyl) and I were chatting around a camp fire about getting involved. He invited me to take part and I was very keen to be a part of the race as well as the charity work that forms part of the race.
“I do a bit of charity work when I mountain bike so I was keen to be a part of helping out the local community and giving back to them is something that I was really keen to do and it is great that there are initiatives like this,” Strauss mentioned.
The former Australian and South African loose forward was brought up along the Orange River so he is familiar with canoeing but nothing of the nature of the Fish River however he is looking forward to the challenge of the race.
“I don’t really come from a paddling background, I do a bit of surfski paddling now and then but that is about it.
“I don’t really know what to expect from the race but that is exciting and I love adventure as well as a little bit of adrenalin so I think that the Fish is going to be something that I am really going to enjoy,” an excited Strauss mentioned.
The Hansa Fish River Canoe marathon takes place on Friday 10 and Saturday, October 11, 2014. More information can be found at www.fishmarathon.org.za