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British Canoeing launch Paddling with Pride

In celebration of Pride Month, British Canoeing is excited to announce the launch of our inaugural Paddling with Pride event in Birmingham this July.

Paddling With Pride Image For Press Release

In partnership with Pride House Birmingham in the run up to the 2022 Commonwealth Games, British Canoeing will be welcoming paddlers to take to the water at a come-and-try event at the Roundhouse in Birmingham on Sunday 24 July 2022. 

The pilot event will support Pride House’s ambitions to create a safe space and welcoming, inclusive environment for LGBTQ+ communities in sport. 

Paddling with Pride aims to be a celebration of inclusion, allyship, as well as all things paddling. It is a continuation of British Canoeing’s commitments to equality, diversity and inclusion under #WePaddleTogether, listening to insight and feedback from a range of communities, creating a positive cultural shift in paddling, and inviting everyone involved to join us on that journey.

Pride House is a welcoming space for LGBTQ+ people and allies during the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. We are delighted to be able to include the Paddling with Pride event in our programming and to support British Canoeing to highlight that paddlesports welcome and celebrate LGBTQ+ people.

– Lou Englefield, Director of Pride Sports and Co-Chair of Pride House International

Whether you have paddled before or are completely new to the water, people of all identities, including allies, are invited to join us on the Birmingham Canal Old Line in the city centre for paddling fun, to find out more about how to get on the water, and meet some of our wonderful club volunteers. 

If you were looking for even more reasons to join us on the day, you could be in with the chance of winning your very own rainbow Aquaplanet MAX 10”6 Stand Up Paddleboard if you register a place at the event before Friday 15th July - we’ll be presenting it to the winner on the day! 

Flags, facepaint and t-shirts are highly encouraged, as there will also be a Pride “Parade” on the water during the event.

We’re very excited to be working in partnership with Pride House Birmingham on Paddling with Pride. Through our national Inclusion Survey in 2021 it was suggested that we run an event like this, and we saw a really meaningful opportunity to bring it to life. As someone who is part of the community themselves, I’m excited to see this event bring together a diverse community to celebrate together.

– Helena Russo, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Lead for British Canoeing

British Canoeing’s Inclusion Survey responses show that people who identify as LGBTQ+ often still feel unwelcome in paddling. We heard that people fear being outed or treated poorly on account of their sexuality or gender identity, and that there is still a general perception that paddling is not an activity for LGBTQ+ people, who are not well-represented. 

Our ambition for Paddling with Pride is to better connect with and show allyship to the community through a welcoming and enjoyable paddling experience, and begin to break down and address some of these barriers and perceptions,” added Helena.

“Paddling also goes beyond participating or competing -  it’s about our club volunteers, our coaches and leaders, the environmental campaign work we do, and so much more. This event is a platform to open the door to all of the wonderful things paddling can be, and show the importance of representation and acceptance in all of those spaces,” she said.

This event will be free for Home Nation members to attend, enjoy, and support - if you don’t currently have a membership, you can purchase a day ticket for £5 through the event registration page. 

All attendees are required to register their details in order to participate via this link:


Giveaway details

Everyone who books a place for the Paddling with Pride event will be entered into a prize draw to win one rainbow Aquaplanet MAX 10”6 Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP). 

One entry per person only. 

The MAX SUP is a great board for new or intermediate paddleboarders, and paddleboarders up to 130kg. Your pack will include your own buoyancy aid, D-rings on the deckpad for attaching a kayak seat, paddle, pump, leash and surf sack, so you’re ready to get out on the water! 

To be entered into the prize draw, you must register for the event before Friday 15th July 2022.


Aquaplanet New Boards 25

If you have any further question on this event, please feel free to contact us on: [email protected]