Part of the pleasure of entering the Riverland Paddling Marathon comes from searching the RPM website for event details. If you start on the home page, you are greeted with a collage photo of one of the towering cliffs along the river. On closer inspection, you find the landscape constructed of a myriad of smaller photos of participants in a range of craft and different backgrounds.
It’s a great microcosm of our paddling community.
Every facet of our sport forms an integral part of the larger landscape. Each facet has to be supported and developed so it contributes to the big picture.
Not many sports have as many diverse activities occurring with their boundaries. From water polo to flatwater sprint, from Arctic expeditions to Sunday coffee runs, there’s a niche paddlesport activity to suit everyone.
Over time, I’ve come to appreciate the amount of effort selflessly given by hundreds of paddlers and their friends in facilitating these sports. If you list the various paddlesports on offer, there are over 10 diverse categories. All are supported by an overall association membership of just on 2000 paddlers in NSW. That’s a lot of collective effort and we should be proud that as a ‘not for profit’ organisation run on volunteer contributions, we can achieve an almost unbroken calendar of high quality competitive events, training sessions, recreational paddles and regular club activities.
If you are into paddlesport, there’s a better than average chance you will be involved in its conduct in some way.
As the collage so aptly portrays, each of us in our own way contributes to the big picture. I don’t think there are too many other sports that can boast the same level of commitment from their members.
I’m proud to be one amongst many who contribute to the great activity of paddling.
Tony Hystek – PaddleNSW Chairperson