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Nominate your Community Heroes

We’ve been hearing some incredible stories of paddlers going above and beyond to help others during this pandemic and we’d like to take the time to celebrate them.

There are so many key workers, working tirelessly to help our country, alongside people going the extra mile to help others in need. We need your help to find these heroes and nominate them for a Blue Paddle Award. 

If you would like to nominate yourself or someone else, please just tell us a little about the work you/they are doing and their involvement in paddling. Ideally we’d also like a picture of the nominated person. 

Once registered we’ll be promoting and giving thank you messages to the Blue Paddle Awardee’s through social media and new stories featured on our website.

To nominate your hero, please click here and complete the form


Sarah Thomas

Reason for nomination

Sarah Thomas got involved with supporting the Southern Boat Series Wild Water Races via her daughter Izzy a Hamble Sea Scout racing. From the outset the organised Sarah assisted on race day with entries, race timings and results, hot chocolate and soup and for the main River Hamble WWR Race she is often skippering the one of the motorised safety launches.

From the outset of the lockdown Sarah out of the blue offered to help some of the oldest and those with the worst health record local SBS paddlers. Sarah has undertaken shopping for vital weekly necessities such as bread and milk and collecting wider shops. This is alongside both Sarah and her husband having a full time job now working from home and looking after daughter Izzy now at home full time due to school closures. Without her help the people she supports would have had to risk trips out which are not recommended for them. A lifeline and lifesaver for them.

Delia Ellard

Reason for nomination

Delia Ellard is recently most known for making the slalom bibs we all race in at ranking slalom events. Less known is she was an active cyclist then paddler with her husband Jeff and a popular member of her local Canoe Club.

Delia and her husband have not had the best of health over the past years yet despite that she has battled through it still doing bibs and supporting her canoe club. Despite her own health/injury issues, age (over 70) and sadly husband Jeff passing away on Christmas day 2019, Delia has turned her superb sewing skills to making scrubs for the NHS.

Protective gear is the barrier to save the wonderful NHS and other key workers from the coronavirus so they can care for us all so what a valuable job Delia is doing which in turn helps the NHS stay safe to care for us all.

Dominic Hinshelwood

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After delivering outdoor education to hard to-reach young people for over 30 years, Dom has had to adapt to working online, making sure the mental health of the young paddlers he supports is maintained during this period. He is even making door step deliveries of flower growing and arts kits to kids with disabilities, and set a 'paddling in your garden challenge' for his youth club members! 

Sam Maingay

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At the point of lockdown Sam was at his peak readiness for the GB U23 canoe slalom selection series. Whilst continuing his training in difficult circumstances he has volunteered at JCB Academy in the production and delivery of over 1000 face shields to care homes, prisons, social care and dentists.

Kevin Dobson

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Kevin is a member of Devizes Canoe Club and has been chair for many years. He has completed the DW several times. In September 2019 he was diagnosed with cancer and given 4-6 months to live.

Since then he has raised over £10,000 for his hospice. See Kevin's Just Giving page.

Andy Hall

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Andy is a legend!! He has been an RCO and still works coaching the sport he's passionate about. He works with young and old across many platforms, he's as happy on a canal or the Dart as he is on a river in Nepal. Andy is also a active member of his local coastguard. 

Five weeks ago he was admitted into hospital with the covid virus. After 4 weeks on a ventilator dialysis and temporary trachy he is awake and not given up. He's now taken his first steps and is keen to get back to normal. 

We of course wish Andy a very speedy recovery too! 

Lou Clutton

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Lou is a coach who runs her own bespoke whitewater courses and trips to Montenegro as Dragonfly Coaching, and also worked at an introductory level with Moo Canoes, as well as writing about paddling and mental health as 'The Moody Paddler'; all of that is on hold at the moment as she has gone back to working as a Nurse on ICU Wards to assist the NHS in their fight against Coronavirus, selflessly working long, hard hours on the night shift.