The Martin Dreyer Change a Life Academy continues to raise the bar in its paddling, mountain biking and trail running performances across South Africa – and it is breaking through a number of barriers as its young team make their mark in top domestic events. USN has played an integral part in the Academy’s success, providing sports nutrition to these rising stars and community role models.
Having improved their performance in each Dusi Canoe Marathon since 2009, the Change a Life paddlers excelled in 2018, delivering their best results ever, despite extremely tough conditions brought on by the drought. All 10 Change A Life double canoes finished in the top 22 overall, with four Change A Life canoes winning Gold Medals, placing in the top 10.
The Non-Stop Dusi, aka the Comrades Marathon of canoeing because it involves 90 kms of paddling and 30 kms of running with your boat, was the toughest yet in 2017 due to the lowest water levels ever. This forced paddlers to run 42 kms in the portage sections. This did not deter the Change a Life Under-23 supermen duo of Mthobisi Cele and Mpilo Zondi who pulled off a surprise win overall in the final stages of the race. They beat not only their own team mates Banetse Khoesa and Nhlanhla Cele who had led for much of the race, but also five time winner and Change a Life ambassador, Sbonelo Khwela. Five Change a Life boats finished in the top six. “It was an unbelievable effort from them to pull off such an incredible win in the most difficult conditions I have ever seen for a Non-Stop Dusi,” a proud Martin Dreyer said after the race. Fast forward to 2018, 3 Change a Life canoes placed in the top 5 overall in the Non-Stop Dusi.
On the strength of their Dusi performances, the organisers of the Berg Canoe Marathon invited Mthobisi Cele, Mpilo Zondi and top CAL junior paddler Mvelo Ngidi the opportunity to train and race on the river before the marathon with a group of international paddlers. Despite cold, windy conditions, they finished the four-day marathon in 4th, 6th and 10th places respectively, with Ngidi winning gold in the under 18 category. This was the first time Change a Life made it to the top 10 of the Western Cape’s premier river race.
Change a Life paddlers use USN Cyto Power HP during training and events to enhance energy levels and stamina as well as either Muscle Fuel STS or Pro Recover after training or events to accelerate recovery and lean muscle development.
Training daily at Nagle Dam, it’s a long walk back home afterwards where food awaits. So having a “Chocolate Milkshake’” as it is popularly called, Muscle Fuel STS or Pro Recover, straight after hard training makes a positive impact to speedy recovery.