WOF firefighter wins Slalom Canoe Championship
Katleho Mahlaba, a Working on Fire firefighter from the Bethlehem Base, recently walked away with a gold medal in the K1M category of the South African Junior Slalom Canoe Championships. The annual championship was held in Clarens in the Free State on the Ash River.
Six teen compet i tor s, s ix f rom Germany and 10 South Africans, took turns to race against the clock with the combined time for two runs (in seconds) taken as the final points. Paddlers needed to negotiate about 20 gates hung over the river which they pass through in a specified sequence and direction – either upstream or downstream.
“I would like to thank the Department of Environmental Affairs and WOF for giving me the opportunity to be part of this programme which allows me to be physically fit on a daily basis. I would also like to thank a few individuals who assisted me in reaching my goal of winning a gold medal. I would like to thank my General Manager, Mr Willem van Aswegen, for allowing me to participate in the event and allowing me to practice leading up to the tournament. I would like to thank my coach, my Regional manager as well as my Working on Fire teammates for all their support. It truly is an honour to have won this championship and it will remain a highlight in my life,” says Mahlaba.
“We are extremely proud of Katleho. He embodies the leadership and discipline that we teach our participants and we are proud that he is using his talent to further himself in life. We will continue to support him in reaching his goals,” says Johnson Mafisa, the WOF Regional Manager.