Pietermaritzburg - Following the most successful Dusi Canoe Marathon
charity batch auction to date, the over R320 000 raised has subsequently been
split between the race’s three beneficiaries with the Magqubu Ntombela Memorial
Fund and the Dr Ian Player Memorial Fund receiving a combined R131 878 to help
with a number of projects.
The two funds are set to become one under the banner of the Ntombela Player
Memorial Fund in the near future where the focus will be on sustainability of
the environment, a passion of both Ntombela and Player, and a number of these
projects will benefit from the Dusi’s donation.
The 2015 Dusi Canoe Marathon was dedicated to the late Dr Ian Player following
his death in November 2014 while the charity batch was also named in his honour
with the funds’ representative Todani Moyo grateful for the generous donation
that the race made.
“On behalf of the Magqubu Ntombela Memorial Foundation and the Dr Ian Player
foundation I would like to thank the Dusi Canoe Marathon for their generous
donation,” he said. “The funds that you have gratefully donated here today will
be used to contribute to a number of projects that we are currently involved
Player always mentioned the importance of preserving the environment for future
generations and with the current rate of poaching, the numbers of rhinos in the
wild is decreasing rapidly.
Through the Dusi’s donation, the Ntombela Player Memorial Fund is now able to
pump much needed funds into the protection of these animals.
“The funds will support our Rhino anti-poaching programme through which we have
decided to be pro-active instead of re-active to make sure that this massacre
of our rhinos is stopped for the betterment of the future for our children.
“The money will also be used for the anti-mining campaign that opposes the
current mining of pristine areas particularly around Umfolozi. It will be also
be used to contribute to community trails in conjunction with the Wilderness
Leadership School and Ezemvelo KZN.
“Magqubu Ntombela, when he was still alive, used to say that it is imperative
to save the wilderness and to give everyone the same experience that he had
with his great friend Ian (Player),” Moyo added.
General Manager of the Dusi Canoe Marathon Brett Austin Smith was quick to point
out Dr Player’s impact on the race having been one of six to take on the
challenge for the very first time in 1951, and the only one to finish, as well
as his importance to the future of our environment through the legacy that he
“The Dusi Canoe Marathon and the paddling community is very proud to support a
cause that was so close to Dr Ian Player. We are totally indebted to Dr Player
for creating the Dusi, and for having the foresight and tenacity to create the
“Supporting his foundation is our small contribution to preserving his great
legacy,” Austin Smith mentioned.
Austin Smith understands the importance of the Foundation’s work and he speaks
for the paddling community when he adds the urgency of the support needed for
the new Ntombela Player Memorial Foundation.
“As outdoor lovers, we are also determined to preserve the Rhino population,
and support wholeheartedly the initiatives of the Ntombela Player Memorial
“We hope the contribution from Dusi paddlers will help in these endeavours,”
Austin Smith explained.