Paddlers are gearing up for a good cause this weekend as Paddle for Health returns to the waters off Oak Bay and Saanich.
The annual event takes place Saturday (Sept. 9) with paddlers venturing from Willows Beach Park in Oak Bay to Gyro Beach in Saanich and back again.
Paddlers start to arrive at 8:30 a.m. with the adventure getting underway at 9:45 under the watchful eye of an on-water safety crew. Participants follow the shoreline past Cattle Point and into Caddy Bay before landing at Gyro Park Beach for a 15-minute stretch and snack stop. They’ll then turn around and do it all in reverse, landing back at Willows Beach around 12:30 p.m.
Participants of all ages are encouraged to join the fun – with a few stipulations. Children are required to have a guardian paddle with them but all ages and skill levels – including first-time paddlers – are welcome. For those who do not have a kayak, canoe or standup paddleboard, some are available to borrow from organizers (supply is limited so registration is required).
Funds go to the Island Kids Cancer Association and are used to support Island families living with the challenges of childhood cancer. Last year’s event raised more than $20,000.
The registration fee is voluntary with a $50 donation suggested. Those who raise more than $100 qualify for a Paddle for Health T-shirt.
There are also awards for the top fundraising team, top individual fundraiser and best team costume.
For more information and to register, go to paddleforhealth.ca.