Canoe-Kayak Community Clubs Sailing

HIGH ACHIEVERS: Rideau Canoe Club, Nepean Sailing Club receive True Sport grants

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Rideau Canoe Club. File photo

By Martin Cleary

A pair of well-established Ottawa sports clubs dedicated to putting people in boats and having them travel quickly over the water are recipients of the Ottawa Sport Council Foundation’s 2020 True Sport Community Grants.

The Rideau Canoe Club and Nepean Sailing Club have been awarded $1,500 each by the True Sport Foundation to help with COVID-19 recovery efforts to continue developing inclusive programming for underrepresented populations.

The Ottawa Sport Council Foundation recently made the announcement about the two grant winners, whose clubs have had their programs significantly impacted by the effects of the unprecedented pandemic.

“It is important to provide this opportunity to the great programs offered by the Rideau Canoe Club and the Nepean Sailing Club so they can continue to inspire participation in sport,” Ottawa Sport Council executive director Marcia Morris said in an announcement.

The Ottawa Sport Council is dedicated to promoting sport in the National Capital, while following the principles of True Sport.

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“Although the global pandemic has greatly challenged community sport, it has also shown the resiliency and heart of many organizations,” said Karri Dawson, the True Sport Foundation executive director.

“The Rideau Canoe Club and Nepean Sailing Club programs are providing a foundation for positive, rewarding experiences that will instill character in our kids, strengthen our communities and increase opportunities for excellence, which we need now more than ever.”

The Rideau Canoe Club has been offering a Special Olympic/Para Canoe program since 2009. It introduces paddlers with intellectual or physical disabilities to the sport and can lead to racing or recreational outings.

Nepean Sailing Club’s Mobility Cup. File photo

People with physical disabilities can connect with the ABLE Sail program at the Nepean Sailing Club, which is designated as a provincial Paralympic training centre. Adaptive sailors of all levels use the accessible Martin 16 keelboat.

The True Sport Foundation is a charitable organization committed to making values-based and principle-driven sport a positive experience for individuals and communities throughout Canada.

The Rideau Canoe Club and Nepean Sailing Club are encouraged to continue promoting the seven True Sport principles: Go For It, Play Fair, Respect Others, Keep It Fun, Stay Healthy, Include Everyone and Give Back.

Martin Cleary has written about amateur sports for over 47 years. A past Canadian sportswriter of the year and Ottawa Sports Awards Lifetime Achievement in Sport Media honouree, Martin retired from full-time work at the Ottawa Citizen in 2012, but continued to write a bi-weekly “High Achievers” column for the Citizen/Sun.

When the pandemic struck, Martin created the “Stay-Safe Edition” to provide some positive news during tough times, via his Twitter account at first and now here at

Martin can be reached by e-mail at and on Twitter @martincleary.

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