Paddle For The Planet celebrates 5th anniversary

2015-06-04 06:00
Photo: Supplied
Surfski paddlers belonging to the Durban Geriatskis got involved with the Paddle For The Planet Day in 2014.

Photo: Supplied Surfski paddlers belonging to the Durban Geriatskis got involved with the Paddle For The Planet Day in 2014.

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THE ground-breaking global Paddle For The Planet project will celebrate its fifth anniversary when the world-wide paddling relay in support of ocean and river environmental awareness takes place on 6 June.

From its roots as an annual drive by surfski paddlers to highlight threats to key ocean reserves, the programme has expanded to include a variety of different paddle disciplines and extends to all waterways used by paddlers, from dams, canals, and river to oceans around the world.

The project dovetails with the World Environment Day on Friday 5 June, the day before the global Paddle For The Planet relay.

Now formally back by the International Canoe Federation (ICF), the project aims to expand in 2015 and will hopes to include dragonboat paddlers around the world, through the International Dragonboat Federation, as well as the burgeoning discipline of Stand Up Paddleboarding.

World and European K1 Men 500m Champion Anders Gustafsson, who heads up the ICF Athletes Committee, urged paddlers to unite around the Paddle For The Planet programme.

”When paddling I make a connection with the surrounding water, millions of paddle strokes forms a unique bond,” said Gustaffson.

“Conservations of water and marine life worldwide is as important as it is natural to support. The need of clean water and the health of our oceans and the life within is not a luxury but a necessity and as natural for me to support as my need for clean drinking water,” Gustafsson added.

Fundraising in South Africa will channel money towards the Dusi Umgeni Conservation Trust (DUCT), currently working at rehabilitating rivers and estuaries in KwaZulu-Natal.

Paddlers are invited to organise their own groups to paddle in solidarity with the Paddle For The Planet programme on the day and submit details via the Facebook page.

Each group is invited to post images and comments on their involvement on the Paddle For The Planet Facebook page www.facebook.com/paddlefortheplanet .

“The promotion of conservation of water conditions across the globe is exceptionally important ,” said International Canoe Federation president José Perurena, who is also an IOC Member.

“This project is fantastic way to increase awareness of how paddlers worldwide can help to continue to improve water conditions.and#034; More information can be found at www.paddlefortheplanet.org

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