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Champion Schoeman soldiers on despite sore shoulder

Former canoe marathon world champion and perennial hard man of South African river racing, Cam Schoeman (Popes Canoe Centre) and his Czech partner Jakub Adam (Popes Canoe Centre) will not let Schoeman’s recent shoulder injury affect their shot at a top placing at the Dusi Canoe Marathon later this month.

A left shoulder operation a number of years ago seems to have flared up once again for Schoeman who complained about pain in his shoulder after a training session with his Czech partner recently. The former Maritzburg College pupil could not put his finger on how the injury came about but is still confident that he will be fit and firing for Dusi 2014.

ÔÇ£I really can’t tell you when it happened,ÔÇØ a baffled Schoeman [pictured right in the front of the boat] chuckled. ÔÇ£It was just a case of fine one day and then the next day there was pain! I have been resting and icing it quite a bit so I am sure it will be fine for the Dusi.ÔÇØ

Although Schoeman has been out of full training for the past few weeks, he has been able to get on the river and show his foreign partner various paddling lines, an important part of their preparation. The two paddled in the Campbell’s to Dusi Bridge race over the past weekend and are also looking to tackle the final pre-Dusi and seeding race, Inanda Dam to Durban, this weekend with the intention of testing the limits of Schoeman’s shoulder.

ÔÇ£This weekend we’ll race the same as we raced last week and start with the main bunch and see how we go. If the shoulder starts to take strain then we will back off and just use it purely as a way of getting Jakub familiar with the river.

ÔÇ£Obviously we haven’t been paddling at 100% recently, we’re probably d 65% at the moment, but we ran the portages hard this last weekend which was really good for our training. Lance Kime knows the river the best because he does a lot of paddling on it and we are trying to get Jakub as accustomed to the conditions as possible.

ÔÇ£We have done quite a lot of paddling along the route. We aren’t quite as quick as we were for 50 Miler but we hoping to get back up there by the start of Dusi,ÔÇØ Schoeman added hopefully.

It is difficult for Schoeman to get in a boat and train with an injured shoulder so, frustratingly, he has been forced to watch Adam train in a K1 from the river banks. Having used his recent time off to get plenty of running preparation under his belt and, having spent far more time with a boat on their shoulders than actually sitting in it, Schoeman believes the traditionally make-or-break portages of the Dusi shouldn’t be a problem for the pair in 2014.

ÔÇ£I’ve done a lot of running both with the boat and without it. I can’t just sit around and do nothing. even though it’s probably not the best thing for my shoulder. Being so close to the race I have to get some sort of training done though!

Schoeman took the decision to partner with the strong Czech paddler some time ago and he feels that he owes it to his partner to be competitive at the Dusi this year. ÔÇ£Jakub has flown out from the Czech Republic twice in the last few months to prepare specifically for the Dusi and he really wants to compete well in this year’s race. I am the guy he has chosen to compete with so we are definitely going to be as competitive as we possibly can be when we get on that start line in less than two weeks’ time!ÔÇØ a determined Schoeman explained.

Schoeman showed that he was able to battle through the pain when himself and Adam registered a second place finish at the Inanda Dam to Durban race over the weekend even though it was a race where a number of the top crews opted to skip the race all together.

Picture: Anthony Grote/Gameplan Media