I am a firm believer in that paddling is a way of life

By Darryl Bohm


I am leading the “Opportunities to stay involved within the sport” initiative of the Alumni program. My objective is to keep the Alumni active within the paddling community. Some of the opportunities may be:

  1. Assist CKC, Divisional and Club event organisers source volunteers from the Alumni (this is a great way to give back to the sport)
  2. Explore the possibilities that the Alumni can participate in the sport they love (i.e. look at the various disciplines and motivate Alumni to stay active and healthy while still enjoying paddling)
  3. Engage the Alumni in informative / motivational / educational events to pass on their experience to the younger members of CKC.

Please feel free to contact me at darrylbohm@yahoo.com with any ideas / input / suggestions.

Photo: Jason van Bruggen

I am a firm believer in that paddling is a way of life – you don’t “retire” from paddling – you focus your energy on other aspects within the paddling umbrella, adjust your paddling goals to suite your own personal ambitions.

My love for paddling started at a very early age when our family would go camping at my Uncle’s farm that bordered on a river. As far back as I can remember there was always a pleasure kayak on the farm, and we would paddle it around – either to take out our fishing lines seeking the “BIG” fish on the other side of the river, or just exploring the river banks. At the age of 9, my parents bought a farm on the same river, and of course we got a pleasure kayak all for ourselves.

Competitive kayaking started at age 14, when the South African Canoe Association started an active program in getting juniors involved in the sport – they gave each of our local schools two K1’s and two K2’s (the K1 ”HUNTER” and the K2 ”GLIDER” were boats made by Struer. In the European championships of 1967 they were very near to be the only models used by the competitors) and started interschool races. I was very fortunate as the headmaster of one of our schools lived next door to us – and they kept the kayaks on his farm, thus I could come home from school and go paddling every day in a racing K1!!

We soon had a group of school kids all paddling up and down the river.

I vividly remember my 1strace (a 9km race on the river with a stretch of about 500m of small rapids approx. 1km from the finish – some 50 school children at the start. I had borrowed a boat (an old white water boat), but could not get a paddle, so I used the home made paddle my father had made for our pleasure kayak. It was a mass start (i.e. one start that included all types of boats, all ages, boys and girls), the excitement and adrenalin pumping in each competitor made a spectacular sight as we all rushed off the line, the wash causing havoc for the few of us in white water boats (they are rudderless) and some of the slower conventional K1’s, weaving down the river we went, trying to catch the boats ahead, and increasing the gap on those behind. Then the feared rapids approached – what fun that was going through them, water splashing up onto the cockpit, mastering the water turbulence to miss the rocks, the panic of being spun out by an eddy. I was hooked!!

I was very fortunate that I was brought up in a paddling world where you were encouraged to participate and compete in all of the paddling disciplines. While at school I focused more on sprint and marathon, during my University years seeked more excitement and participated in white water racing and slalom (but still did some sprinting and marathon) and after university was able to afford the adrenalin rush paddling discipline of downriver racing.

I have competed in the following paddling disciplines: Sprint; Marathon; White Water; Slalom; Canoe Polo; Surfski; Down River; Dragon Boat; Outrigger.

My whole family paddle, my wife Rory being the most decorated of us all and eldest daughter Tamlyn follows her mother achievements, and my two little ones have just started the paddling life.

I am actively involved in Marathon as a board member on OMCKRA (Ontario Marathon Canoe Kayak Racing Association); Ontario Marathon representative on MCRC (Marathon Canoe Racing Council); Volunteer Team Manager for the Canadian Marathon Team.

I am also the Registrar for Port Credit Paddling Club.

I have served on the boards for Mississauga Canoe Club and Greater Toronto Canoe Polo Club.

I have been a founder member of a number of clubs (Secunda Canoe Club, Greater Toronto Canoe Polo Club, and Port Credit Paddling Club).

I have organised a number of events, of which include the South African Sprint Championships, South African Marathon Championships, and a number of club and provincial races.


My competitive achievements include:

  1. International:
    • World Master Marathon Cup – completed 15 (9 times for Canada; 6 times for South Africa) – placed 2ndK1 (2014) 2ndK2 (2013, 2014) 3rdK2 (2017)
    • Liffy Descent (Ireland) – completed 3 – Placed 1stmaster / 1stmixed double with my wife Rory (we were 10thoverall)
    • Sella Descent (Spain) – completed 2 – Placed 2ndmixed double with my wife Rory)
    • Taipei International Dragon Boat Festival – Placed 2nd
    • International Canoepolo Tournament De Paddel (Dikkebus, Belgium) – competed in 2ndleague


  1. Canada:
    • CKC National Sprints
    • CANMAS
    • Canadian Canoe Polo Nationals
    • Canadian Marathon Nationals



  1. South Africa:
    • Duzi Canoe Marathon (3 day 120km river race) – completed 15 – highest placing was 2ndwhite water boat
    • Berg River Canoe Marathon (4 day 250km river race) – completed 11 – highest placing 18th.
    • Vaal River Canoe Marathon (2 day 120km river race) – completed 28
    • National Championships – Marathon / Sprint / White Water / Canoe Polo / Dragon Boat