Three members of the paddling community were recognised with British Canoeing’s highest accolade at this weekend’s Holme Pierrepont Open.
The Award of Honour recognises an individual's outstanding service, commitment and major contribution to the sport. Nominations are welcomed from members of all National Associations and the final selection approved by the Board of British Canoeing.
This year’s recipients; Tim Ward, Kevin East and Douglas Caffyn have each played a significant role developing our sport and living out the spirit of British Canoeing.
Tim Ward has been a lifelong volunteer of British Canoeing, initially with the Scouts where he first picked up a paddle and then through his 40 year involvement in the sport. His contribution to both canoeing and freestyle specifically has been unique.
Tim has acted in so many roles including Chairman, Coach, President, Team Manager and Event Organiser to name a few. He was also Chairman of Freestyle GB for five years. During this time freestyle saw one of its greatest successes with two senior British World Champions emerging from the 2011 World Championships.
As Honorary President of Nomad and Marlow Canoe Club, Tim continues to work tirelessly to support progress within our sport. He is a true pioneer, inspirer and motivator not forgetting Dad to a World Champion.
Kevin East has given a lifetime to canoeing and has been an instrumental access supporter for decades. He represents canoeing interests at the Port of London Authority, Parliamentary Waterways, National Trust and many other groups and has a wealth of knowledge on rivers.
Kevin has played a leading role in supporting Regional Waterways Advisors and the waterways team in Nottingham and shaped policy and direction in the British Canoeing Waterways and Environment team.
Kevin is the Local River advisor for the River Crane, The Duke of Northumberland and the River Thames from Staines to Teddington. He was instrumental in developing the all year access arrangement on the Lower Mole Flood channel managed by the Environment Agency where he continues to support this arrangement with numerous site visits. Kevin has been a key member of the Canoe Camping Club for over 50 years and organises many of the trips on the Thames Region's program.
The name Rev Caffyn is familiar to many paddlers, but few are aware of the immense contribution Doug has made to canoeing. Doug is a former chair of the British Access Committee and served two terms on the Environment Agency Southern Region's RFERAC (Regional Fisheries, Ecology, Recreation Advisory Committee) representing canoeing interests.
In 2004 he submitted a thesis on ‘The Right of Navigation on Non-tidal Rivers and the Common Law’ providing a wealth of information and shaping thinking on the subject of access to water. In 2010 Doug submitted a second thesis; ‘River Transport 1189-1600’ providing paddlers with further evidence to rivers that were physically usable.
Doug continues to provide ongoing support and advice on access related issues and is a key member of the Access Advisory Group.
Thank you to all our award winners for the valued and continuing support they provide to the paddling community.
If you would like to nominate someone for the Award of Honour, take a look here for more information.