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

Driver charged in Central Saanich pedestrian’s death appears in court

Victim Kim Ward, 51, died on scene at the August 2018 crash

UVic second best comprehensive university in Canada: Macleans

B.C. schools take top two positions on yearly list

Victoria woman selling car halts fraudster in action

VicPD warns public to be on the lookout for bank draft fraud

Saanich safety upgrades, bike lane extension on Finnerty Road near completion

Raised instersection and sidewalks part of safety improvements near UVic

Esquimalt arson trial hears of feud with tenant before the fire

Wei Li charged with intentionally setting fire to a duplex he owned on Oct. 3, 2017

VIDEO: B.C. man’s yard comes alive with grizzlies at night

Malakwa man has captured images of 12 different grizzlies on video

POLL: Do you think the day of the federal election should be a statutory holiday?

Increasing voter turnout has long been a goal of officials across the… Continue reading

Two RCMP vehicles vandalized in Duncan over long weekend

Local Mounties asking for help in finding culprits

Fire response at Trans Mountain Burnaby tank farm could take six hours: audit

Site doesn’t have mutual aid response agreement with Burnaby fire department

A year after pot legalization in Canada, it’s a slow roll

It’s one year into Canada’s experiment in legal marijuana, and hundreds of legal pot shops have opened

ELECTION 2019: Climate strikes push environment to top of mind for federal leaders

Black Press Media presents a three-part series on three big election issues

Tickets available for Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame dinner and induction

Ryan Cochrane, Mike Piechnick and Rob Short among the inductees

Suspect hits woman with pipe, jumps into waiting truck in downtown Nanaimo

Police say victim believes ‘vicious assault’ was an attempted purse-snatching

Most Read