Friday, November 13, 2015

Paddling and Doing Good - The Two Go Hand In Hand

Paddling and doing good - the two go hand in hand, at least in the Western Canadian Stand Up Paddling community.

Logo created by First Nations Artist, Roy Henry Vickers
Recently I had the opportunity to visit my friend, Ken Larsen's grade 8 classroom to hear all about the, Take a STAND - Youth For Conservation Program and how it aims to educate and engage youth to protect the environment around them. It also looks strongly at our BC Coast and the Coastal First Nations culture. The program exists because of a small but passionate group of people, Nicholas, Anthony, Norm, Allison and Natascia. I have known Norm (Hann) for a few years now and it was a pleasure to attend the presentation which also included the viewing of 2 of his Stand Up Paddling films, Standup 4 Great Bear and STAND.

You can view Standup 4 Great Bear below and STAND is available on NETFLIX.

As a member of the stand up paddling community here in Western Canada, Norm has been a huge inspiration to many, many people, myself included. My reaction to the films was quite emotional; it evoked in me and others who have watched it, a desire to do better and be better in our communities. The stand up paddling community is very inclusive and members are very engaged; environmentally and socially. It's fantastic. 

A few folks worth mentioning are of course, Norm and Standup 4 Great Bear

Kevin O'Brien from Kalavida Surf Shop and his work with the Society for the Protection of Kalamalka Lake (SPrKL) 

Ken from Pure Life Paddle Boards in his support of many different organizations (SU4GB, Chilliwack Vedder River Cleanup Society, Vancouver to Nanaimo for Youth at Risk)

Trevor Petersen raising awareness about PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) through his expedition, Paddling with PTSD.

Harry Saini and his crew with Vancouver to Nanaimo for Youth at Risk 

Chad Guenter raising awareness and funds for mental illness through Keep Calm & Paddle On (KCPO)

Please check out SU4GB below and STAND on Netflix. Get inspired and then take action! If you don't know where or how, contact myself or any of the guys I mentioned above. There is always opportunity to do GOOD.

Green River, UT

Green River, UT
Photo: Shawna Franklin