As the memory of winter fades away and spring enters full bloom, the quietude of the frozen Welland Recreational Waterway has given way to the splash and whoosh of paddling at Canada`s premier paddling destination. Since the beginning of May, on any given evening, you`ll find a growing, dedicated and passionate group of paddlers taking to the water, stroking their way toward fitness, health, excellence and most of all, fun!
A new season of paddling is beginning at South Niagara Canoe Club (SNCC) and it hasn’t taken long for the club to transform into a beehive of activity. Paddlers of all backgrounds, ages and skill levels are participating in a wide variety of programs being offered in the sports of canoe, kayak and dragon boat. In fact, right now at SNCC coaches are working with athletes from age 5 to eighty, and skill levels from complete beginners to World Champions!
The South Niagara Canoe Club started operation in 2008 and since that time the club has grown from humble beginnings to become a thriving community club offering a variety of programming to a diverse membership of paddlers. Along the way - working one season, one competition, one practice session and one stroke at a time – SNCC has achieved some amazing things which are worth sharing with our local community:
· South Niagara Canoe Club is home to several world champions. Most recently Brian Roy, Stefan Fridrikkson, John Gagnon, Bill Hilbert, Steve Levkoe, Sue Humphries, Verna Dalgleish, Lindsay Sale, Dianne Gauvin represented Canada at last summer`s IDBF World Dragon Boat Championships in Hungary! Doug Jones coached the Senior C category at these championships.
· Brianna Iannandrea has also participated at the Ontario Summer Games in 2012 and the Ontario Winter Games in 2014.
· In 2013 we hosted training camps for some pretty illustrious visitors: the Canadian National Canoe Team and the Canadian National Dragon Boat Team
· On two (2) occasions, SNCC has hosted the Australian National Kayak Team as guests to our club. They raved after their second visit that it was one of the best locations they’ve been to for paddling.
· We currently have seven (7) paddlers who are planning to represent Canada at this summer`s World Club Crew Dragon Boat Championships in Ravenna, Italy
· The Hope Floats survivor and supporter crew that trains out of SNCC has recently been featured in both local and regional news media in several different articles, inspiring a multitude in the process
As we reflect on our successes, it all seems incredible for a small club that is still growing by leaps and bounds each year. Never content to rest on our laurels, SNCC has big plans to continue its growth. This summer SNCC is continuing to expand introductory level programming for children and youth, ages 5 – 18, through our Canoe Kids, Elementary and Developmental programs for canoe and kayak. In addition, SNCC is in the initial stages of forming a new masters paddling program for beginner adults who are keen to enjoy the pristine Waterway. Finally, the club is proud to continue its strong tradition in dragon boat through the offering of four different dragon boat programs: Canal Dragons (mixed recreational), Hope Floats (a women’s survivor and supporter crew), the Warlocks (mixed competitive) and PaddleAll (a group for people with a developmental challenge). Dragon boat has a reputation of going from a casual hobby to a life-long passion for many who participate in one of our programs. The combination of expert coaching, team camaraderie, and healthy activity prove to be captivating – always offered in a positive club environment.
For further information on any of our programs or to inquire about something not mentioned in this article, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org – we’d love to hear from you. See you on the Waterway! We offer a 3-for-free policy, come on down and jump in a boat with us to see what you think for yourself.
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