WAVERLEY: A championship performing canoe/kayak club that has a long-standing history in the community has taken another step towards its goal of “Building Canadian Youth.”
In an announcement on March 17, Cheema Aquatic Club in Waverley was announced as receiving $258,000 in funding for new accessible docks.
A post on its Facebook page called the funding a “game changer” in numerous ways for the club.
“It’s another step forward in our efforts to create a fully accessible and inclusive recreational facility,” said the post.
Cheema officials said the investment will also have a tremendous impact on the long term capital planning and budget of the club.
Bill Casey, safety and Paddling Loghistics chair with the club that trains on the Waverley side of Lake Thomas, said replacing the docks is something that’s been on their wish list for quite some time.
“Our current docks are at the end of their lifespan,” said Casey in an interview. “Replacing them with fully accessible docks is a dream come true.
“We have started the work to get quotes, with a goal of getting these docks in for the summer.”
Para-athlete Danial Murphy, who dons the Cheema apparel as a competitor from the club, said as a former Canadian Paralympic swimmer, paddling has filled a void left when he stopped competitive swimming.
“New docks along with the renovations completed during the past year makes Cheema the model of an accessible organization,” he said.
“Let’s keep it going.”
The club wished to thank MLA Brian Wong for his advocacy and support of the club’s dream, saying that Wong believes in their goal to “Build Canadian Youth.”
Wong, who is also the Advanced Education Minister besides being the MLA for Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank, said he was pleased to help the Aquatic Club attain the funding needed to make this wish list item become reality.
He said one of the reasons he ran to be MLA was to help people.
“That’s my job,” he said. “It’s not just my job. It’s what I like to do because I want to help people.
Wong said having these accessible docks will allow anyone to get out there and paddle.
“What is going on at Cheema is all about making sure people of all abilities have access to that facility, and to that type of recreation,” said Wong.
“Cheema itself for years had rec paddling and Olympic, world class athletes come out of there.
“Now with their mandate, they’ve been working really hard with their recent expansion to get people through those doors and enjoying that lake, and the professionals they have there. It teaches people so many things.”