20 Febrero 2024

Canoe Kayak Canada has launched a new campaign that seeks to ensure the country’s National Sprint Championships are inclusive for all by creating opportunities for paddlers with intellectual disabilities.

The 2024 Boats for All campaign has been created with the aim of raising CAN $15,000 to buy a fleet of accessible boats for the CKC’s PaddleAll program.

The boats will be used at the 2024 National Championships in Welland, Ontario and then remain there as a legacy for PaddleAll races in the Western Ontario Division.

CKC’s PaddleAll encourages athletes with intellectual disabilities to train and compete as part of a global goal of inclusivity within paddle sports.

The mission of the CKC’s campaign is to ensure every region across Canada will have the standardized equipment that meets Special Olympic rules and regulations.

Each year the region that will be targeted to receive this equipment will be the Host Division of the National Sprint Championships.

Canoe Kayak Canada's Boats for All campaign

“One of our main values is inclusion, and we pride ourselves in ensuring that our activities strive to be as inclusive as possible,” a statement from the CKC read.

“Currently, CKC provides opportunities for athletes with intellectual disabilities at our Sprint National Championships under our PaddleAll program.

“Many regions and clubs provide great programming for our athletes and have those athletes compete at our National Championships.

“One of our biggest challenges in the continued success of this event is to ensure we have enough boats of the same type so that races are fair for all participants.

“Our tourist class singles event is an event where athletes may not all use the same equipment at their clubs, but at Nationals Championships we need to guarantee they have the same access to equipment, so the race is as fair as possible across the field.

“These boats are versatile and can be used for many uses at a club, not just for PaddleAll programming.

“They will open opportunities for everyone to try paddling and can be used in many introductory programs.”

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