KZN Para Surfing Championships 2021 a huge success

The clouds parted and the sun came out just in time for the KZN Para Surfing Championships on Saturday 27th of March at Addington Beach, Durban. The event was hosted by Made for More- a sport, mental health and disability NPO headlining Para Surfing in the province. Para Surfing otherwise known as Adaptive Surfing is an adapted form of surfing which allows people with disabilities to take to the waves.

34 athletes took part in the KZN champs this year- well above the 26 athletes that competed from the whole of South Africa in the previous SA Para Surfing Championships in 2019. These numbers illustrate how much the sport is growing in KZN and in our country at large.

“The day was just pure perfection. We had perfect weather, perfect sea conditions and beautiful group of people coming together. I think the joy, the freedom and the hope was tangible and written all over the surfers’ faces. I think everyone who was present felt something that can’t really express in words,” commented Julia Morris, Founder of Made for More.

She added, “with the South African Para Surfing Championships coming up on the 28th to the 30th of May at New Pier, Durban, we expect to see these numbers rise and more people with disabilities gain access and opportunities to take to the waves and represent their province and for some, their country.”

Four South African Para Surfers were part of this year’s field, with Tracy McKay, Caleb Swanepoel and Erynn Geddie coming first in their divisions and Sabelo Ngema coming second. Tracy is currently ranked 2nd in the world in the Prone Assist Division in which she competes, whilst Sabelo Ngema is ranked 7th in the world in the Visual Impairment 2 Division. Both athletes competed in the most recent 2020 World Para Surfing Championships which took place in La Jolla, California, USA exactly 1 year ago, just before the Covid-19 Pandemic hit.  

Other notable mentions include; Jodi Kroone, who as a newcomer to the sport absolutely dominated, surprising herself in the process and taking the win in the hotly contested prone assist women’s division. Other newly crowned KZN Para Surfing Champs to mention include David Williams, Amuri Mwanza, Krishiv Katuwaro, Oliver Sinclair, Danito Mondlane, Douglas Hendrikz and Sean Thompson, each winning the gold medal in their division.

The evident skill of the competitors was not the only memorable feature of the day however, as was shown in the Expression Session where people with disabilities who had never surfed before took to the water for the first time. Guided and supported by the excellent water-assist team – the joy was written all over the faces of the para surfers of the future!

Julia van Zyl, the Made for More Team and all the organisations, volunteers, sponsors, supporters and athletes involved made for a day that was truly inspiring and unforgettable.

The results for the 2021 KZN Para Surfing Championships are as follows;

Stand 1 Division

1.  Amuri Mwanza, Sydenham

Stand 2 Division

1. Krishiv Katuwaro, Howick

Stand 3 Division

1. Caleb Swanepoel, Pinelands Cape Town

Kneel Division

1. David Williams, Glen Anil

2. Derick Sigwebela, Chatsworth

Prone Unassisted Division

1. Tracy McKay, Bluff

Prone Assisted Division (Women)

1. Jodie Kroone, Hillcrest

2. Natashia Siebert, Winkelspruit

3. Zizipho Zukulu, Ntuzuma

4. Zenande Mabanti, Durban Central

5. Zonke Nyandeni, Klaarwater

6. Nelisiwe Sibiya, Pietermaritzburg

7. Alulutho Tshoba, Clare Estate

Prone Assisted Division (Men)

1. Oliver Sinclair, Hillcrest

2. James Sinclair, Morningside

3. Nathaniel Naidoo, Merebank

4. Thabiso Mabaso, Hillcrest

Visual Impairment 1

1. Danito Mondlane, Glenwood

2. Storm Schwartz, Doonside

Visual Impairment 2

1.Erynn Geddie, Glenwood

2. Sabelo Ngema, Eshowe

3. Melwawenkosi Ngema, Eshowe

1st Waveski

1. Douglas Hendrikz, Kloof

All-Inclusive Division

1. Sean Thompson, Ramsgate

2. Anthony Eastwood, Bluff

3. Viwe Mthembu, Glen Anil

Expression Session

Daniel Deghaye, Glenwood

Charles Phillips, Westville

Peter Comrie, Westville

Chloe Malcomess, Kloof

Victorious David, Pretoria

Phumelelisiwe Mbele, Umlazi