Dear board members,
I first joined the club at the age of seven and have been an active member ever since my first paddle on the Gatineau. I was one of the few very first paddlers at the club and I’m honoured to be able to say that. During the past ten years, the club has made tremendous changes and in my opinion for the better. Not only have theses changes allowed me and many others to grow as high level athletes, it has opened the opportunity and availability of canoe/kayak/dragon boat to all types of people, it has enriched our community and finally it has allowed us to develop as a club. I value the fact that parents and volunteers in the club are so involved that it has or almost has taken over their actual jobs, that the kids are so excited to paddle it is almost overwhelming for us as coaches, that some of our dragon boaters are over the age of eighty yet still so keen That our athletes are so dedicated their life revolves around one single passion – paddling and that the river is shared by a community whom supports each other. But most of all I value the clubs continuous positive spirit, which I truly believe is a contribution of all theses things. I am so grateful that had I the chance to grow up in such a positive atmosphere which greatly contributes to the person I am today. It certainly continues to be influential not only in my life but especially in the lives of our younger generation at the club. I feel as though it is important to recognize that we are so much more than just your typical club, we are in fact the opposite of the ‘average’ club. I strongly believe we take great pride in our accomplishments whether it’s a national medal from one of our high performance athletes or a 9th place ribbon from a Gannoque regatta earned proudly by an atom, we support each other. This is where we differ from the other clubs, we are more of a family than anything else. In a family, children are continuously developing, learning values and morals and constantly being provided with care and love that they need. I am happy to say that this is exactly what the club offers every single day of the summer.
When I began writing this email I actually surprised myself a little, I knew the club meant a lot me but I never knew how much love I have actually grown for it. I am sending this email to remind everyone what the club is really about and how important it to us. For me, it’s a place where I spend countless hours on and off the water, where I developed both physical and mental strength and without a doubt a place that has taught me my most valuable life lessons. Living just a few kilometers away from the Cascades club , I really do consider myself part of neighborhood.
I would like you to take a minute to really think about the club has been able to offer from the moment you joined whether it be taking your first swing at a squash ball or your first stroke down at the water , it definitely has been able to give some happiness or else you wouldn’t be reading this email. Take the time to concentrate on all theses positive moments or thoughts because I believe its what’s going to allow us to do the things we want to do. I am beyond thankful for a place that has taught a community leadership, dedication and admiration for something that seems to little to some but really means the world to others. I hope we can all recognize that every time we represent the club either regionally, nationally or globally we are proud to say that we came from the Cascades club.
Yes, we are growing and it is true there is so much still to learn but there is a whole lot of heart going into this club which doesn’t create a doubt in my mind. I want to thank you for your time, not only for this email but all the devotion that has made this club possible. I hope you continue to have big enough hearts to support everyone and everything at the club.
A high performance paddler’s point of view