I was lucky enough to have Martin Dreyer stay with us this weekend! Not only because he took us out for Sushi and gave us some amazing tips on the Mountain bike rides he joined us on but, mainly to catch up on his latest achievement. Probably one of his most cherished results and far different from anything he has ever done in the past.
ORKA Paddles was fortunate that Martin let us get involved in his project in a small way providing them with some paddles!

If you are not sure who Martin is and what he is about he's worth checking out! An absolutely fantastic guy with some crazy results winning multiple Duzis' and even the world G4 Challenge. Results aside he is a gentle caring and humble guy who is always willing to give help and advice to anyone in need!

Mart decided this year that he was not keen to race Duzi canoe marathon but still wanted to be involved in some way as it's a race he loves. Last year when he raced with Micheal Mbanjwe for the K2 title he discovered there was a huge amount of talented youngsters living in the Duzi valley!

Mart then came up with the idea to take this to a company called Computershare which has started a fantastic organisation called "change a life" and he got them to support him in his goal to get 10 Black Paddlers into the top 50 finishers in the 2009 Duzi canoe marathon.The guys he chose all live in the valley in mud huts with little to there names. Ambitious but he felt it was possible!

Computershare got behind him 100% well aware that this was a fantastic initiative! With that Martin set to work taking the youngsters under his wing and teaching them everything he could about racing the Duzi. You couldn't ask for a better teacher but Mart then found that he had to deal with extra challenges one would normally never expect, such as making sure the guys had enough food to train on and teaching then the importance of resting while training!

He developed these young paddlers into racing machines! They went on to better Martins wildest dreams and achieved more than anyone could have expected!

He helped Eric Zondi and Lucas Mthalane in to 9th and 10th respectively.
a further 5 guys into the top 20
and in total he had 11 in the top 50!
with Kwanda Mhlophe taking the first under 18 prize!
A couple of the guys are now going to take on the non stop duzi next weekend and again Mart has high expectations! It will be well worth following! After that Mart is trying to get his group into adventure racing and who knows where from there?

The life skills Martins' group must have learnt I can only imagine! What it must have meant to each guy in the group gives me cold shivers. What an opportunity, what an achievement! The rest of us will just have to dream of things like that! But Mart, Thank you for having this vision and thank you for showing us its possible! Like all things: one just needs dedication and self belief.