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By Ruth Gordon

I have two nephews and a new niece/nephew on the way. I take pride in my born right to influence these kids. As a kayaker if there is one thing I would like to do… it would be to help them get in the water.

Last year my nephew, Cooper, turned six and I decided he was past the stage of requiring an extra large hand-me-down boat (that wouldn’t tip over even if he stood up and jumped around), to his very own shinny, new Fun 1.

For now, I don’t want to force him into anything but rather let him play with the boat as he sees fit. And if that means throwing it in the pool, watching it bob in the surf, or covering it in stickers then that’s the way it will be. Keeping in mind I don’t live close to Cooper I want to provide him with the means to like kayaking; having his own boat, making sure he has access to kayaking videos and knowing that his auntie is indeed in love with kayaking (for a long time he’s had a picture of me kayaking over his bed and this year he came to watch me win the worlds).

Next year when he turns 8 I’m hoping to take him out on the Ottawa River. For me this is a slow and delicate process (even though he assures me that ‘yes’ he can run that 20ft waterfall in the video). I want the end result to be positive so I am patient.

I can’t wait to share my passion further with the little people. Isn’t it exciting that we can put kids in kayaks! I look forward to next year when my first nephew will embark on, what I hope is, the adventure of a lifetime.

Have you put your kids in a kayak lately?

Smiles from snowy Calgary,