John Edwards wins award for world paddling contributions

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Editor’s Note: We’ve received this press release from the International Canoe Federation about local resident and Councillor John Edwards.


OTTAWA, ON (February 21, 2017) — John Edwards has been honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the International Canoe Federation’s World Paddling Awards. Edwards is Chair of the ICF’s Paracanoe Committee and was the driving force behind moving Paracanoe to inclusion in the Paralympic Games.

John Edwards

He served as Canoe Kayak Canada’s Domestic Development Director from 1999 to 2015 where he led the largest growth in CKC’s racing and membership history. He also initiated Canada’s Aboriginal paddling initiative, the PaddleALL program for paddlers with impairments and played a vital role in increasing female participation in canoeing. Edwards grew up paddling at the Carleton Place Canoe Club in Canada and competed at the 1972 and 1976 Olympic Games in the C1 and C2 1000m.

Edwards accepted the honour on Saturday night in Mortágua, Portugal as he also joined the World Paddle Awards Academy.“I started with this idea in Canada in 2007 and said we should have a World conference on paddlers with disabilities … and people came,” Edwards recalled during his acceptance speech. “There were enough countries doing something that I said we have a movement here. In every level of our sport, at every single canoe club there’s an opportunity to make our sport richer and to reach out to more people.”

Listen to John Edwards’ full acceptance speech

The Lifetime Achievement Award recognises incredible contribution to the sporting world of paddlesports. Edwards was one of eleven World Paddle Award category winners.