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From the President’s Desk:

 

Paddling Safety Task Force

 

There have been far too many news stories about people going out in unsafe conditions and getting themselves in trouble or killed.  Two different groups of rafters got hung up on strainers on the DuPage at High Flood stage and had to be rescued. A tuber and a kayaker were killed on the Mackinaw at High Water.

 

It is very clear that many people do not understand the safety issues or the skills required to safely enjoy Illinois Paddleable waterways.  There have been a lot of discussions both on Facebook and via email lists about how to address this problem.

 

Addressing this issue requires a multifaceted approach:

 

Develop press outreach materials and a press outreach campaign to help steer media articles to discuss the safety issue.

 

Develop and distribute Online Safety materials.  Either develop new materials and link to already existing materials.  Make sure that the materials are available widely on the web and through social media.

 

Develop and Distribute Printed Safety materials at events by staffing informational tables, through retailers and liveries, etc.

 

Develop, promote, and support formal training opportunities for people to learn to enjoy our waterways safely and responsibly.

 

In our board meeting, the IPC voted to charter a Paddling Safety Taskforce.  However, this will be too big for the IPC to accomplish by ourselves. It will need to involve a coalition of Organizations, paddling clubs, paddle sports businesses, liveries, and individuals working on this task force.

 

Who else is in?

 

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Sarah Hartman Fund for Paddle Sports Education

 

We are all saddened by the passing of a fellow paddler, Sarah Hartman.  As an Avid Sea Kayaker, Flat Water River Kayaker, White Water Kayaker, Sarah touched so many of our lives.  She was an incredible Athlete, coach, teacher, and friend.  Any words in this newsletter are inadequate to the task of expressing the loss.

 

Her Family has requested that Donations in her memory be made to either Team River Runner or Chicago Adventure Therapy.  We would ask people to give generously to these great organizations in her memory!

 

There is a web page available to express ones memories of Sarah at: http://www.legacy.com/guestbook/Batesville/guestbook.aspx?n=sarah-hartman&pid=175286131

The IPC Board voted to rename the Heartland Fund to the Sarah Hartman Fund for Paddle Sports Education.  The heartland fund was established several years ago to help with a small stipend to those who achieve level-3 ACA Instructor certifications (or the equivalent BCU Coaching Certificates).  More information for the Sarah Hartman Fund for Paddle Sports Education  is available on the IPC Website:  http://www.illinoispaddling.info/heartland-fund/

 

Tom Eckels

thomasreckels@gmail.com

847-863-7046

President, Illinois Paddling Council

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