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British Canoeing launches #WePaddleTogether

British Canoeing has today announced the launch of a new equality, diversity and inclusion initiative; #WePaddleTogether.

The launch of #WePaddleTogether aims to bring awareness to British Canoeing’s commitment to improving equality, diversity and inclusion in paddlesport by listening to and learning from paddlers and wider social conversations. 

British Canoeing believes that everyone should be able to access and enjoy paddlesports regardless of their identity, background or circumstance. Whether paddling recreationally, representing the country on the world stage, or giving back through coaching or volunteering, the paddling community are stronger together when #WePaddleTogether. 

To improve inclusivity across paddlesport, British Canoeing have outlined five key commitments that will be adopted and embedded across the organisation:

  1. Building our insight and understanding of how communities access our sport, and how we can work to remove barriers for under-represented groups in all paddling settings
  2. Listening to diverse, intersectional voices from our paddlesport community on a range of issues, to implement change and provide equitable services for all
  3. Maintaining good governance through inclusive policy, helping to create more opportunities for a broader range of people to access paddling, from the boardroom to grassroots
  4. Celebrating our diverse role models and sharing examples of inclusive practice as learning opportunities for the wider paddlesport community
  5. Taking opportunities to improve our knowledge on all aspects of equality, diversity and inclusion, and share this with relevant stakeholders and the paddling community to support a positive cultural shift and empower them to join us on this journey

Speaking about the launch of #WePaddleTogether, British Canoeing CEO, David Joy said: “The #WePaddleTogether initiative is an exciting development which demonstrates our commitment to promoting equality, diversity and inclusion throughout all the work British Canoeing does. Over the last 12 months we have worked hard to listen to and learn from our community’s experiences of paddling and have taken steps including appointing an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Lead to focus on the long-term development and delivery of inclusion programmes across paddlesport.

“Earlier this year, we took another big step forward appointing members to a new Inclusion Advisory Group who have provided great insight and we look forward to working with them to create more inclusive opportunities to paddle for all going forward.”

To mark the launch of #WePaddleTogether, a short film which features the faces of some of British Canoeing’s new Inclusion Advisory Group, has been produced to highlight the key aspects of the campaign.

Those featured in the video include:

  • John McCalla-Leacy - Chair of IAG and former GB canoe slalom athlete
  • Dee Paterson - British Canoeing president
  • Anna Stishova - Non-independent IAG member and #ShePaddles Ambassador
  • Eilidh Gibson - Canoe Slalom athlete and founder of Slalom Inspires
  • Chris Brain - Paddlesport coach
  • Roger Weir - Talent inclusion coordinator
  • Jada Mustafa-Moore - Canoe slalom athlete

Find out more about British Canoeing’s equality, diversity and inclusion work here.