The Geronimo Canoe Club previously competed in Tahiti and are now on their way to Australia. (Pixabay file)

Tsartlip canoe team pulls for international glory in Australia

Geronimo Canoe Club paddles to Victoria to kick-start fundraising

Tsartlip First Nation’s Geronimo Canoe Club will complete an epic paddle from reserve lands to Victoria as the start of fundraising activities to get the team to the World Distance Championships in Australia.

The fundraising paddle will take place on Friday, June 14, and the day will culminate in a Seafood Fundraiser at Songhees Wellness Centre. The event promises to be a celebration of the paddlers’ skills, as well as featuring an art auction and seafood feast.

ALSO READ: Troubling tales: Peninsula author writes Sixties Scoop memoir

The team, who are all from Tsartlip First Nation, have pedigree, having won the Canadian Canoe Championships in 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017. They hope to bring their skills and culture to the world stage, by competing in Australia between Aug. 9 and 16. The World Distance Championships has its roots in traditional Polynesian paddling and is run by the International Va’a Federation, which has been operating since 1981. There are sprint and distance events, with the main race being a gruelling 24 kilometres.

Last year, the team competed in Tahiti and they describe race week as an opportunity to express their culture and learn from others, as well as a tough mental and physical challenge. Team members say one of their best memories was at a cultural evening, when Maori paddlers from New Zealand were intrigued by what they heard and approached them to ask questions about Tsartlip First Nation culture.

ALSO READ: $40M to upgrade B.C. First Nations’ addiction and mental health treatment centres

Joe Seward, 33, has been canoeing since he was five and describes himself as a fourth-generation paddler. He’s a veteran of the 11 man, six man, two man and solo races on the traditional war canoe racing circuit, and an integral member of the team.

“It’s tough physically but also you need to be emotionally and mentally strong too,” he says, noting, “We follow our beliefs and the spiritual connection to our surroundings; our canoes and our paddles, the water. We look to that to gain some strength and help get us through it.”

Geronimo Canoe Club was started by Ivan and Madeline Morris and the team are direct descendants. They keep the founding values of the club alive and train most days in local waters.

ALSO READ: Brazilian JiuJitsu fighters unlock warrior code at Van Isle Open

The team members are George Horne, Len Morris, Gus Morris, Jasper Morris and Joe Seward.

For more information or to donate visit geronimocanoeclub.com/donate. To learn more about the International Va’a Federation visit ivfiv.org.



nick.murray@peninsulanewsreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Province launches lawsuit over Esquimalt sailing incident that killed teen with disabilities

Gabriel Pollard, 16, died from injuries after being dropped from marine lift in 2018

Fireballs fall Friday as brightest meteor shower of the year fills the skies

Geminid meteor shower features colourful, brighter, longer shooting stars

Colwood tops Grumpy Taxpayer$ 2019 Candy Cane Awards

Yearly awards for improved governance go to Colwood, Oak Bay, Victoria

Mainly cloudy, chance of showers ahead for Tuesday

Plus a look ahead at the week’s forecast

Lead Island Health doctor backs Saanich push to lower provincial speed limits

Chief Medical Health Officer backs the bid to drop residential speed limits to 40 km/h

VIDEO: Kenney lays out key demands for meeting with Trudeau

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney aims for clear signs of federal action on two-day Ottawa trip

First Nations want Big Bar landslide cleared ASAP to allow fish passage

Leadership calling for urgent action and resources to remove obstruction on the Fraser

Assessed value of Lower Mainland homes expected to decrease in 2020

Other areas of province may see modest increases over last year’s values

Chilliwack family’s therapy dog injured in hit and run

Miniature pit bull Fifty’s owner is a single mother facing close to $10,000 in vet bills

Cougar destroyed in Penticton area after mauling dog, killing cat

This is the first reported incident with a cougar this year in the Penticton area

Feds not enforcing standards on Hungarian duck imports, B.C. farmer says

‘You have no way of knowing what’s in the bag’

No reports yet of Canadians affected by New Zealand volcano eruption, feds say

Missing and injured included tourists from the U.S., China, Australia, Britain and Malaysia

Vancouver Island blues musician’s mother’s home burglarized and ransacked

David Gogo’s 71-year-old mother has jewelry and artwork stolen in break-in

Dance cancelled after Alberta teacher’s climate lesson prompts online threats

School district near Red Deer cancelled annual family dance due to Facebook comments

Most Read