CKC names two athletes to the Sprint Canoe World Championship Team to compete in PaddleALL Events

Canoe Sprint, PaddleALL, World Championships
Posted By: Canoe Kayak Canada

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.

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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