Canoeing is a very healthy outdoors sport that gives you a fantastic upper body workout with emphasis on your core and arms. It makes you fit and strong and can help you perform better at other sports whilst giving you the opportunity to paddle in many different outdoor locations in a variety of different disciplines.
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You can paddle on rivers, dams, canals, oceans and pretty much wherever there is water. You can partake in Olympic sprinting, exciting river marathons, exhilarating surfski ocean paddling or adrenaline filled white water rafting. It is an amazing and very healthy sport involving a great bunch of people who are always willing to help and give you advice. We are very fortunate that this awesome sport is offered at Bishops!

Canoeing Colours at Bishops (pdf)

If you take canoeing as a major sport in summer you are expected to obtain your river proficiency and partake in races during the term. The members who take canoeing as a major sport travel to the vlei twice a week and also paddle in races on the weekends. Canoeing can also be taken as a minor sport in the summer terms and as a minor sport in the winter terms where you only go to the vlei once a week and you improve your skills and fitness and have fun! There is a bus that takes us to canoeing directly after school and we all meet outside Founders House. The bus leaves at around 3:30pm and takes us to the Peninsula Canoe Club at Zandvlei. There are changing rooms where we change into our paddling kit and there are boats and paddles at our disposal at the club.

We spend an hour on the water doing various types of training with our coaches or under Mr Coombe's guidance. On the way back to school it has become tradition that we stop at the shops to buy some much needed snacks. The bus offloads boys at the Virgin Active gym in Constantia and then heads back to school and arrives at around 5:45pm. Everyone in this club has fun and the bus rides are always filled with jokes and laughter. The main paddling that we do in the Bishops Canoeing Club is flat water training, skills training and racing training that can be taken into any type of canoeing discipline. Our main focus though is on river races and river marathons.

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Bishops is one of the leading schools in South Africa as far as sport is concerned and our reputation for sporting excellence is world-wide. In keeping with the ethos of our school, we believe that sport plays a vital role in the development of young men. In particular, we believe that participation in a team sport enhances the educational experience. To this end, it is a school rule that all boys must play an official school sport during both summer and winter terms.

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During the summer holidays on the 22nd of December 2012 the Bishops Canoe Club Captain, Murray Walters, took part in the Fenn Cape Point Challenge in a single surfski. This challenge is renowned as being the toughest one day surfski race in the world with a 50km race route starting at Scarborough beach, rounding Cape Point and finishing at Fish Hoek beach.

This edition of the race was made even harder by a strong NW headwind which the paddlers had to battle into for over 30kms. Murray finished the race in a time of 5hours and 45 minutes and was ecstatic to have finished his first Cape Point Challenge. 2013 is looking like a great year for the Bishops Canoe Club with 16 boys paddling at the first practice of the New Year.

Coming up this year are the Dusi, Fish and Breede River Marathons and the 2013 Cape Point Challenge amongst a host of other river and surfski races, sprint regattas and marathon champs. Members of the Canoe Club can also look forward to a Surfski Course at the Fish Hoek Surfski School on Saturday the 23rd of February where they will learn the basics of paddling in the sea and hopefully we will see some passion come through for the awesome sport of surfski. Bring on 2013!

Facilities & Coaching

Bishops has a fast growing canoeing club with a group of committed members under the leadership of the captain, James van Niekerk and the Master in Charge, Mr. Gary Coombe. Canoeing can be taken as a major or a minor sport in the summer terms and as a minor sport in the winter terms.

Our canoeing sessions and practices take place on a large expanse of water called Zandvlei which is located close to Muizenberg beach and we base ourselves at the very friendly and well organised Peninsula Canoe Club (PCC). PCC is one of the biggest and best canoeing clubs in the country with very good facilities that the boys in our club use.

They have a multitude of boats and paddles that we use and membership to PCC is very affordable and easy to arrange. We have been very lucky to have access to this wonderful club and its facilities and also the fantastic coaching it has provided for us.