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Outrigger paddlers in qathet region welcome new beginning

Local club changes name, prepares for recruitment drive

Outrigger paddlers in the qathet region are embarking on a fresh chapter in their impressive journey, and the new beginning is encapsulated in a change of name.

At the club’s recent annual general meeting, members voted unanimously in favour of a new name, moving on from being called Powell River Outrigger Canoe Society. Henceforth the club will be known as the Suncoast Paddling Club.

However, the name is simply the most obvious aspect of the change. Helped by another generous grant from Powell River Community Forest, the club now owns a purpose-built coaching launch, which is a key element in the upcoming recruitment drive.

Supported by ViaSport BC, the Suncoast Paddling Club is embarking on a campaign to expand membership, which inevitably dropped during COVID-19 restrictions.

“The existing members dearly wish to extend the enjoyment of their sport to anyone seeking a fun way to enjoy our spectacular environment, so keep an eye open for their events and the opportunities offered,” said Michael Matthews, the club’s coach and racing coordinator. “Of course, not everything changes, and while the recruitment is going on, the current members continue with their impressive record of achievement.”

No fewer than nine of the club’s paddlers represented Canada in the last World Sprint Championships in London, England, in August 2022, bringing back two gold and two silver medals (the same as the haul in Tahiti two years earlier). Six more competitors will represent the country in the World Distance Championships in Samoa this summer.