April 17, 2012

CRBI plans paddle workshops for persons with disabilities

Submitted by the Coosa River Basin Initiative

— The Coosa River Basin Initiative will host a series of paddle workshops for persons with physical disabilities to prepare them for participation in the organization’s WATERFEST XII event on May 4-5.

The workshops will teach paddling and water safety skills to prepare persons with disabilities to explore area rivers.

The workshops were inspired by CRBI volunteer Alan Crawford, a paraplegic, who first became involved in paddling by participating in WATERFEST several years ago. Since then, he has participated in numerous CRBI paddling events and serves as the organization’s volunteer paddle trip coordinator.

“Paddlesports is a physical activity that is available to paraplegics and other persons with physical disabilities,” said Joe Cook, Executive Director & Riverkeeper at CRBI. “These workshops are an effort to open up our rivers to more paddlers.”

The workshops will be held April 19 and 26 at 2 p.m. at locations in Rome and Floyd County. Participants will begin with in-pool training at the Rome YMCA and then graduate to paddling on local lakes and rivers. The goal is to have participants ready to paddle in CRBI’s 13-mile paddle on the Oostanaula River as part of WATERFEST XII on May 5.

Physical therapists and paddling instructors will lead the workshops which are free to all persons with physical disabilities. A limited number of complimentary registrations to participate in WATERFEST will be made available to workshop participants. Kayaks will be provided.

To register to participate, contact Joe Cook at (706) 232-2724 or via email at jcook@coosa.org

CRBI is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and member of the international Waterkeeper Alliance. Its mission is to inform and empower citizens to protect, preserve and restore North America’s most biologically diverse river basin.