As temperatures continue to soar in Nelson, residents heading lake-ward may want to look into joining the Nelson Kayak and Canoe Club to get some time out on the pleasant waters of Kootenay Lake.
“We’ve managed to generate quite a lot of interest,” coach Jason Rusu, a former Olympian, told the Star while overseeing his sprint-racing group at Lakeside Park on Sunday morning.
Entering its second season, the club will be holding a Paddle-a-thon fundraiser this weekend to continue to expand its programming.
“This Paddle-a-thon will raise funds for equipment, as well as for summer coaching. Next year I’d like to see us have a summer student who’s helping me locally with some of these paddlers.”
During the Paddle-a-thon, which is occurring across BC this month, paddlers will ask residents to pledge a dollar amount for their efforts.
The club’s Daija Currie said she’s looking forward to the year ahead.
“Great things are happening three times a week down at Lakeside Park. The athletes look forward to attending race regattas down on the coast throughout the summer, and to training all summer long on the water.”
Rusu is especially excited about introducing his charges to the latest style of race canoes and kayaks, many of which are difficult to balance in.
Paddling enthusiast Galen Boulanger gave the Star a quick introduction to the new boats, which resulted in a wet reporter.
“Mostly, we just want people to know who the kids in the tippy race kayaks and canoes are, and we want kids in the area to know this sport is very fun, our team spirit is great and positive, and what better way to spend summer out on Kootenay Lake,” Currie wrote.
Paddle-a-thon will take place from 8 a.m. to noon on June 13 and 14 at Lakeside Beach.
The team aims to fundraise $6,000 to apply to the purchase of a new voyageur canoe crafter by local boat builder Bob Hellman of Hellman Canoes and Kayaks.
To learn more about Paddle-a-thon visit bcpaddleathon.ca/nkcc.
For more information visit nelsonkayakandcanoeclub.com or search for Nelson Kayak and Canoe Club on Facebook.