Written By Rhea Koivu
Relief for Ukraine
The International Canoe Federation (ICF) has created a Go Fund Me to assist the Ukrainian canoe athletes, coaches, and their families displaced or otherwise affected by the ongoing hostilities in their country. Donated funds will go towards accommodation, food and other expenses to enable them to continue during this period. If there are remaining funds at the end of the hostilities, they will be given directly to the Ukrainian Canoe Federation to assist with resuming their activities.
Canoe Kayak Canada and the Canoe '22 Society supports the decision of the International Canoe Federation (ICF) to suspend all Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials.
We add our voice to calls for peace and the immediate withdrawal of Russian forces from Ukraine. Our thoughts are with the Ukrainian people as well as with the communities of athletes, coaches, and staff who may have friends or family affected by these horrific events.
This month, we are shining a light on one of many of our hardworking volunteers.
Meet Liam Mulcahy, Volunteer Training Coordinator
Growing up, I always loved individual sports – skateboarding, biking, ice skating, swimming. It was only in high school I tried some team sports – football and rugby. Turned out I love those too!
My love for sport translated to my university education in Recreation Management in which I enjoyed event planning. From there, I did my co-op with Sports and Entertainment Atlantic, helping to plan the Final 8 Basketball tournament, the Summer Classic street hockey tournament, and the Mackenzie Tour golf tournament.
I learned about Canoe ’22 when Adam, the Volunteer Committee Chair, reached out to me with the opportunity. I was excited by the idea of being back in the event world, so I couldn’t say no. I’m making the volunteer welcome package, including the volunteer handbook and a welcome video. I’ll also help train the volunteers online and in person when the time comes.
LOCAL ATHLETE SPOTLIGHT: Ben Brown
Athlete: Ben Brown
Hometown: Berwick, NS
What’s your biggest goal? Short term, to compete in my first world championships and win a medal this summer. Long term, Paris 2024 in the Kayak!
How did you get into your sport? After 12 years in track, and missing out on the last two Paralympics and three world championships, we felt it was time to make a change when the fire was still burning and was suggested to take up Para Canoe last summer.
What’s your best memory in your sport? My first national title in track in 2016, T53 wheelchair racing in front of 30,000, and racing at the Queen Elizabeth II Olympic Park in London.
Who do you look up to in the sports world? Brent Lakatos, Marcel Hug, Heiz Frie, Ernst Van Dyk (Para athletics), Steve Yzerman, and Mark de Jonge.
Who’s your biggest cheerleader? My family, my coaches and teammates over the years, my close friends (too many to list), and sponsors over the years.
If you could have a superpower, what would it be? Some friends might think I'm Superman but snow, sand, and stairs are my kryptonite. In all seriousness, Incredible Hulk strength or Captain America's powers.
Do you think being an athlete has helped shape your personality? If yes, how? It changed my life for sure. It's molded me into who I am in many ways.
If you had to stop competing tomorrow, what would you do with all of your spare time? Good question, I haven't thought that far ahead. Sport is pretty much what runs my life. I'd likely sit at the lake with the guys, still paddle, and watch hockey all winter long.
Best advice you’ve ever been given? Focus on what you can do, not what you can't.
Did you know?
There are two main boats in paracanoe: kayak and va’a, an outrigger. Va’a was introduced for the first time as a category at the 2009 ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships on Lake Banook, where paracanoe held its inaugural demonstration event.
There are three classifications:
KL1/VL1 – for athletes with limited-no trunk function and no leg function. Force is predominantly applied with arms and shoulders.
KL2/VL2 – for athletes with partial trunk and leg function and good arm strength. Athletes may use backrests but should be able to sit upright within the kayak.
KL3/VL3 – for athletes with trunk function and partial leg function. Athletes are able to use a footboard or their seat to help propel their boats.