History

Fezela Canoe Club was founded in 1962 when a group of keen river paddlers decided to form a club whose focus and underlying mission was that of a family oriented club with a reputation for river paddling.  In short, they wanted to form a club with a strong social spirit.

iFezela is the isiZulu name for the water scorpion, which at that time were found in abundance in the rivers of KwaZulu-Natal.

If you’re interested in joining Fezela, please look in our Admin section, above, for membership forms which can be downloaded.  Here you will also find KNCU membership forms and CSA Affiliation documentation.

Soon after the club was founded, a young man joined who was to become our most celebrated paddler. Roly Alborough joined Fezela Canoe Club in March 1962. He subsequently completed 43 consecutive Dusi Canoe Marathons, an amazing achievement. The highest number of consecutive Dusi finishes was 46, a significant record held by “The Pope”, Graham Pope-Ellis. Sadly he passed away in June 2010. Lyle Wheeler completed his 47th consecutive Dusi in 2018, making him the new record holder.

Fezela Canoe Club members, Viv and Sheila Whitfield, started the first Dusi Dice that was held in Alexandra Park, long before the construction of Camp’s Drift, where a Dice is held every Thursday evening at 17H30.

Amongst our members have been, and still are, some of the great names in SA Canoeing. Included in these are Dusi Winners, SA Champions, South African representatives at International level, as well as other significant achievers.

Fezela holds three very successful races every year.  These include the Jock Claasens river race from Albert Falls weir to the Wartburg Road, Hi Q Classic held Albert Falls Dam and recently the Fezela Classic from Camps Drift to Moto-X Weir.

For a number of years, we have had a running club affiliated to KwaZulu-Natal Athletics Association, which enables our club members to register with Fezela Running Club and run without the additional hassle of having to join yet another club.  Fezela Canoe Club has recently affiliated with the Natal  Rowing Association, which has enabled interested members to row as well.  This has also enabled Fezela to share a home, in the Rowing Clubhouse, with the rowing clubs at Camp’s Drift.