The inaugural Canoe Wales awards have celebrated the quality of paddlesport talent in Wales, the efforts of those who make the sport possible, and the venues and events that make Wales such a popular place for the sport.
The awards, sponsored by South Wales law firm CJCH Solicitors, were presented at a special event at the Cardiff International White Water Centre.
“We had a fantastic response from our members,” said Canoe Wales general manager, Simon Clarke. “There were more than 60 nominations across the categories, and it was a great opportunity to celebrate and congratulate all those that have paddled, travelled, supported and enjoyed paddlesports in Wales over the last year.”
Volunteer of the year: Marion Bryant of Llandysul Paddlers
Senior Coach of the year: Gareth Bryant (Llandysul)
Young Coach of the year: Serena Williams (Cardiff)
Paddle-ability Coach of the year: David Eade (Llandysul)
Young Paddler of the year: Sam Merritt (Llandysul)
Club of the year: Llandysul Paddlers
Event of the year: Llandysul River Festival
Senior Paddler of the year: Tom McLay (Llanrwst)
Team of the year: Snowdonia Slalom
Venue of the year: Llyn Padarn, Snowdonia.
– Meanwhile, Sonja Jones, a Canoe Wales board member in Cardiff, has set off on a mission to circumnavigate the three islands of Malta as part of a team of four. Somja has MS, and with winds reaching 30 knots, and waves currently several feet high, this isn’t just a quiet paddle in the warm waters of the Mediterranean.
Sonja is hoping to complete the expedition with three watersports instructors as part of her physical therapy and to demonstrate the accessibility of standup paddleboarding (SUP).
Canoe Wales is the national governing body for paddlesport in Wales. Anyone interested in getting involved in paddlesport should contact www.canoewales.com or phone 01678 521199.