Paddling initiative actively recruiting Welcome Centers

Let's Go Paddling hopes to register 40 Welcome Centers by June. Initiative supporters include USA Canoe Kayak, American Canoe Association, Rapid Media, National Park Service, National Wildlife Refuge System and others.

Paddlesports teachers and teaching facilities are being actively recruited to get more people paddling more often.

Let's Go Paddling is a grass roots effort aimed at helping communicate the fun, and lifetime fitness benefits of this family-friendly water sport.

“Saltwater, freshwater, flatwater, whitewater, Let's Go Paddling is designed to unite the paddlesports community in sharing its passion for human powered boating with new and lapsed kayakers and canoeists,” said Olympic gold medalist Joe Jacobi. Jacobi is interim executive director of USA Canoe Kayak, the national governing body of the sport.

Let's Go Paddling is aiming to open 40 paddlesports Welcome Centers across the country in this first season of the program. Interested learning centers are invited to apply to become a Welcome Center, which requires hosting at least one free “intro to paddlesports” event at their facility during June, the month USA Canoe Kayak, the American Canoe Association and World Kayak have designated Let's Go Paddling Month.

Once their application has been accepted, Welcome Centers will be able to access members-only resources at including curriculum, outreach ideas and tip sheets on how best to work with such Let's Go Paddling national supporters as the National Park Service, National Wildlife Refuge System, the President's Challenge and state parks.

Another key Let's Go Paddling partner is Rapid Media. Publisher of four niche paddlesports magazines, Rapid Media is the first to sign on as Let's Go Paddling media partner, offering Welcome Centers and their clients everything from subscriptions, to discounts to hosts of Rapid Media's Reel Paddling Film Festival World Tour, to participation in Rapid Media's “I Love Paddling,” amateur short paddling video competition.

Rapid Media founder and publisher Scott MacGregor also donated the web address for the initiative. “I registered this URL ( years ago with the intention of someday launching a nationwide campaign to increase paddlesports participation,” says MacGregor, “And here it is. We're happy to be involved.”

Details of this and more can be found at the online hub of the initiative,