CKC Launches the 2024 Boats for All Campaign

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Canoe Kayak Canada
CKC Launches the 2024 Boats for All Campaign

Canoe Kayak Canada is thrilled to launch  the 2024 Boats for All – a campaign to ensure our races at National Championships are inclusive for all while growing the sport across the country!

With your help, we want to raise $15,000 to purchase a fleet of accessible boats that will be used at this year’s National Championships for our PaddleAll program. These boats will then stay with the Host Division as a legacy to promote programming in the area for those with intellectual disabilities.

WHAT IS PaddleAll?

CKC’s PaddleAll programming encourages athletes with intellectual disabilities to train and race to be their best in sport. This program provides high-quality training and competition opportunities to all athletes, regardless of ability, and is important for the growth of this sport and for the paddling community. Boats for All will leave a legacy for the future of PaddleAll Programming in Canada., it will also contribute to the global goal of inclusivity within the sport of paddling. It will promote canoeing as a fully inclusive sport as represented by the recent signing of an agreement with Special Olympics International to promote the development of canoeing in the Special Olympic World Games.


Our mission is that every region across the country will have the standardized equipment that meets Special Olympic rules and regulations to be inclusive for all. In achieving this, we are providing legacy resources so divisions can grow their Special Olympics/PaddleAll programming. Each year the region that will be targeted to receive this equipment will be the Host Division of the Sprint National Championships.

As a continuously progressive National Sport Organization (NSO), Canoe Kayak Canada (CKC) makes every effort for our sport to be accessible to all athletes, with a vision to increase our international opportunities for our PaddleAll and Special Olympics athletes. One of our main values is inclusion, and we pride ourselves in ensuring that our activities strive to be as inclusive as possible.

Currently, CKC provides opportunities for athletes with intellectual disabilities at our Sprint National Championships under our PaddleAll program. Many regions and clubs provide great programming for our athletes and have those athletes compete at our National Championships.

One of our biggest challenges in the continued success of this event is to ensure we have enough boats of the same type so that races are fair for all participants. Our Tourist class singles event is an event where athletes may not all use the same equipment at their clubs, but at Nationals Championships we need to guarantee they have the same access to equipment, so the race is as fair as possible across the field.

These boats are versatile and can be used for many uses at a club, not just for PaddleAll programming. They will open opportunities for everyone to try paddling and can be used in many introductory programs.





To ensure our races at National Championships are inclusive for all and to grow the sport across the country, we want to raise $15,000 to purchase a fleet of accessible boats that will be used at this year’s National Championships that will then stay with the Host Division as a legacy to promote programming in the area for PaddleAll competitors, our program for those with intellectual disabilities.


  • Funds raised as a result of this campaign will go directly towards the purchase of an additional 10 touring boats to be used at the 2024 Sprint National Championships in Welland, ON and left as a legacy for PaddleAll races in the Western Ontario Division (WOD)
  • WOD will manage the use of these boats in their region
  • Contributions to the campaign over $20 are eligible for a tax receipt (please note that receipts will be issued post campaign)




Paddling is for all Canadians, whether they paddle for the leaf or for the sport.

We must continue our legacy – to ensure that paddling is available to everyone across our land so that they can experience our country in a way like no other. Paddling connects us to our history. But we’re at risk of not being able to pass down its rich tradition.

There is a crisis in sport funding in Canada. One of the major barriers in access to, promotion of, and programming in paddling is a lack of funding. But thanks to the generosity of Canadians, we can continue supporting paddling at all levels and disciplines within the sport. You can help us build paddling in Canada by making a tax-deductible charitable gift.

Canoe Kayak Canada
CKC names two athletes to the Sprint Canoe World Championship Team to compete in PaddleALL Events
Canoe Sprint, PaddleALL, World Championships

OTTAWA, ON (July 20, 2023) – Canoe Kayak Canada (CKC) is thrilled to announce the athletes nominated to the Sprint Canoe World Championship team to compete in the PaddleALL events (ICF Intellectual Impairment II events).

Rachel Cohen (Balmy Beach Canoe Club) and Matthew Casey (Cheema Aquatic Club) have been selected to the World Championship team based on their winning K1-200m performances at the Canada Cup East event in Ottawa, Ontario.

PaddleALL  programming in our Canoe Kayak community in Canada has, for nearly two decades, encouraged athletes with intellectual disabilities to train and race to be their best in sport. Last year, the International Canoe Federation (ICF) in partnership with Canoe Kayak Canada hosted its first-ever PaddleALL (Intellectual Impairment II) exhibition races at a world championship event. Canoe Kayak Canada continues to work with its partners and members across Canada to push for Special Olympics Canada recognition and to have the opportunity to send our Canadian athletes to the Special Olympics World Games.

“Rachel and Matthew are strong additions to our team heading into the World Championships,” said Ian Mortimer, Chief Technical Officer of Canoe Kayak Canada. “In both the K1 and Unified Events we will be targeting podium performances, which is a reflection of not just these two athletes, but the strength of our PaddleALL community across Canada, who deserve this chance to compete on the world stage.”

Rachel Cohen started her paddling journey in 2017 with the Pickering Rouge Canoe Club in 2017 and currently paddles with the Balmy Beach Canoe Club in Toronto, Ontario. Capitalizing on her multi-sport experience, Rachel found swift enjoyment and success in the kayak, winning a silver medal at the 2022 ICF World Championships exhibition race. As captain of her swim team, Rachel has also been selected to compete in the Special Olympics Provincial Summer Games in 2024. She was also inducted into the Toronto Sport Hall of Honour in 2022 as the Special Olympics Athlete of the Year.

Hailing from Fall River, Nova Scotia, Matthew Casey has been paddling at the Cheema Canoe Club for over 11 years now and also brings a wealth of sports experience, including hockey, golf and cycling. Qualifying for this World Championship team holds extra meaning for Matthew as he was sidelined by a broken arm at the 2022 World Championships, preventing him from competing on home waters. Off the water, Matthew loves volunteering his time with the PaddleALL program, supporting the next generation of athletes.

Rachel and Matthew will compete amongst the world’s best sprint paddlers at the ICF Canoe and Para Canoe World Championships in Duisburg, Germany from August 23-27.


The Rosters:

ICF Canoe World Championships

Intellectual Impairment II

 Matthew Casey – Cheema Aquatic Club
Rachel Cohen – Balmy Beach Canoe Club

Men’s Kayak

Vincent Jourdenais – Club de canoë-kayak de vitesse de Trois-Rivières
Laurent Lavigne – Club de canoë-kayak de vitesse de Trois-Rivières
Cameron Low – Balmy Beach Canoe Club
Brian Malfesi – Ridge Canoe and Kayak Club
Nicholas Matveev – Balmy Beach Canoe Club
Simon McTavish – Mississauga Canoe Club
Pierre-Luc Poulin – Club de Canoë-Kayak Lac-Beauport

Men’s Canoe

Andrew Billard – Maskwa Aquatic Club
Connor Fitzpatrick – Senobe Aquatic Club
Alix Plomteux – Club de Canoë-Kayak Lac-Beauport
Tyler Laidlaw – Sackawa Canoe Club
Craig Spence – Cheema Aquatic Club

Women’s Kayak

Toshka Besharah-Hrebacka – Rideau Canoe Club
Natalie Davison – Rideau Canoe Club
Riley Melanson – Banook Canoe Club
Michelle Russell – Abenaki Aquatic Club
Maddy Schmidt – Rideau Canoe Club
Courtney Stott – Balmy Beach Canoe Club

Women’s Canoe

Jacy Grant  – Cheema Aquatic Club
Sophia Jensen – Cascades
Julia Lilley Osende – Mic Mac Aquatic Canoe Club
Sloan MacKenzie – Cheema Aquatic Club
Katie Vincent – Mississauga Canoe Club


ICF Para Canoe World Championships

Men Kayak

Gabriel Ferron-Bouius – Rideau Canoe Club

Men Va’a

Mathieu St.Pierre – Club de canotage du Shawinigan
Benjamin Brown – Maskwa Aquatic Club

Women Kayak

Brianna Hennessy – Ottawa River Canoe Club

Women Va’a

Brianna Hennessy – Ottawa River Canoe Club
Erica Scarff – Mississauga Canoe Club


Visit Canoe Kayak Canada’s website to get more information and make sure to follow @PlanetCanoe and @CanoeKayakCAN for more live updates.

Subscribe to Canoe Kayak Canada’s mailing list to get all news and results directly to your email.

About Canoe Kayak Canada

Canoe Kayak Canada (CKC) is the national governing body for competitive paddling in Canada, one of Canada’s top performing summer sports with a total of 24 Olympic medals, and a leader in the Paralympic movement. Canoe Kayak Canada is a member-based organization that includes an intricate network of clubs as well as provincial, territorial and divisional paddling associations. Elite National Team athletes proudly represent Canada at various competitions around the globe – most notably the Olympic Games, Paralympic Games, Pan American Games, ICF World Cups as well as Junior, Under 23 and Senior World Championships. Follow Canoe Kayak Canada on TwitterFacebookInstagram and YouTube.




For more information:

Colleen Coderre
Communications Lead

Emmalee Nother
Communications Coordinator

Canoe Kayak Canada
Paddle One Paddle All, Thanks for Answering our Call!
PaddleALL, PaddleALL

Thanks to our incredible community, our Boats for All campaign closed on Monday, raising $15,657! This campaign had 72 donors, the highest amount of support we’ve seen in a campaign and beat our goal of $15,000, allowing us to purchase at least 10 touring boats that will be used at this year’s National Championships in Nova Scotia. This fleet of accessible boats will stay with the Host Division as a legacy to promote programming in the area for PaddleAll competitors, our program for those with intellectual disabilities.

“You have truly supported us in building the Paddle All/Special Olympic programming for this nation-wide initiative. Our athletes will have boats that they will be proud to paddle in because of your generosity,” said LA Schmidt, Commodore. “Thank you, Canoe Kayak donors from across Canada.  We are building our Paddle All program through your generous donations and the matching assistance from First Lake Solutions – thank you all so much. When we work together as a team, great things happen!”

A special thank you to First Lake Solutions who came forward with a matching challenge that helped us surpass our goal!

“First Lake would like to thank all of the donors for their generosity in making this campaign a success,” said Rob LeForte, Founder of First Lake Solutions. “We applaud CKC for taking the initiative to make canoe kayak accessible to people from all backgrounds.”

Our sincerest gratitude in helping us create an inclusive and welcoming community for all paddlers and creating a legacy for years to come.