Potato farm to Podium | The Christie Mckensie story by Graham Daniel

With the World Marathon Champs looming large on the radar of Christie McKenzie, she’s had to deal with the transition from school to Varsity College and still maintain a commitment to train in order to perform, to continue her high level of achievement, but more importantly to fuel her passion for performance. Christie has graced the Dusi Canoe Marathon podium in the last two years, both times on the second step, the first time at the tender age of 17 years. This, combined with a Bronze Medal at the World Marathon Champs while in front of her home crowd last year, rank amongst the highlights of her career thus far, many would be very satisfied with this resume for their entire paddling career, but not this nuggety KZN paddler; she has aspirations for more, much more.

She took up the challenge to race K2 in with current World Surfski Champion, Hayley Nixon, to see if they could qualify to represent South Africa at World Marathon Championships in the Open Women. They took silver in the race but subsequently have decided that Christie will now “drive” the boat. Testament to the fact that she is up for it, to take on the might of the best paddlers in the World and do it on her own terms. This pretty much sums up this determined athlete who has been guided and groomed with a strong support structure from a large family, with huge input from Dad (Ken) and brother, Hamish, who she credits so much of her success to. She looks up to Hayley with deep respect, but credits Hayley with being so understanding and motivating at the same time – such an important point that female paddlers need to look up to other female role models in the sport, and both roles have been fulfilled perfectly with this combination….

READ MORE from page 44 in issue 4 of 2018: https://issuu.com/thepaddlemag/docs/tpm_4_2018


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