In partnership with Peak UK
From cleanups and lobbying to campaigning and spreading the word, we know paddlers are doing lots of great things behind the scenes to help champion the cause of fair, shared and sustainable open access.
To say thank you to those paddlers helping drive CACW in their community, we launched our Community Champions Award which celebrates the achievements of those volunteers who are truly inspiring and carrying the #ClearAccessClearWaters message far and wide, beyond just the paddling community.
Do you know someone who deserves the Community Champions accolade? Hit the nominate button at the base of each Community Champion to nominate your person for our hall of champions.
Meet The Community Champions
Sheffield Hallam University Canoe Club
Bayley, who himself had never tried paddling before until 2018, was nominated for his work with Sheffield Adventure Film Festival where he helped to organise a large scale clean up on The River Don, which saw over half a tonne of rubbish removed. Bayley said:
“I feel we are making really good progress as a university canoe club helping to clean rivers and spreading knowledge and awareness of the Clear Access Clear Waters Campaign.”
Cambridge Canoe Club
Wim, who actively organises Floating Pennywort clean ups on the River Cam, said:
“‘I am really grateful to be nominated, however this is very much a team effort with my fellow paddlers at Cambridge Canoe Club, Cam Valley Forum, Cam Valley Conservators and the Environment Agency. The big matts of Pennywort are removed by the Environment Agency with paddlers following on afterwards within a week or so to pick up the little bits left over. This is paramount to get rid of the stuff. If you leave small bits it will just grow back and you will find yourself fighting the big matts all the time. However with regular checks and removal of small bits you stop it spreading and it’s not too much work.”
2018 British Canoeing Woman Paddling Ambassador
Addi has not only encouraged women into paddlesport but highlighted the challenges the planet faces including Climate Change and environmental sustainability through working with the University of Leeds. Addi and her daughter visit schools across Leeds and give public talks about their canal adventures hoping to encourage more children to get active, live life more adventurously and care for their environment. Addi said:
“I love being out on the water and caring for the environment. It is something I am passionate about, so visiting community groups and sharing my passion with others and inspiring them is important to me.”
Whoosh Explore Canoe Club
Andy was nominated by his club for going above and beyond, engaging the local community to help rid their local waterways of litter, pollution and invasive non-native species. Andy said:
“I got involved as I don’t like to see the River Stort in such a mess and once you’ve seen it with your own eyes and experienced it you really understand the problems it causes. It makes you realise the importance of disposing of litter properly. I love taking a group out collecting litter, however when it’s just yourself collecting litter it feels like a small impact, but with lots of people getting involved, collectively it is having a big effect”
Colchester Canoe Club
Steve proved what can be achieved when a local canoe club engages with their local MP. Steve was instrumental in ensuring Will Quince, his local MP, participated in their paddle clean up, by inviting him in a canoe with Darius Laws the leader of the conservatives on Colchester Borough Council, collecting litter from the river Colne. Will Quince was so inspired by the paddle cleanup and the CACW campaign that he met with Michael Gove (then Secretary of State) and presented him with the CACW charter document. Steve said:
“It was a complete surprise to be successfully nominated as a Clear Access Clear Waters Community Champion. Myself and Colchester Canoe Club invited our MP and leader of our council out on paddle cleanups removing plastic pollution and junk from our waterways. They saw first hand why it is important for paddlers to have access on water and as a result our MP met with the Secretary of State to explain why fair shared sustainable open access is needed.”
Nottingham Kayak Club
Aged just 17, Woody became the youngest person to be presented with the Community Champion award following his excellent work around cleanups with his local club. An active member of Nottingham Kayak Club, Woody is a prime example of the brilliant part paddlers play to protect our environment. Chantelle Grundy, Access and Environment Officer for British Canoeing, said:
“Woody is an inspiring teenager, juggling clean ups with both his studies and his own development within the sport. His passion is infectious and he really inspires those around him, including members of the public whom he chats to along the way.”