The Nelson Paddling Club  was founded in 1991. Since then it has been a steady presence at Lakeside Park, offering classes, outings, and boat storage.

The 2019 Sprint Team season is off to a great start. Under the leadership of past club president and senior coach Jason Rusu, head coach Heather Potkins and senior coach Lauren Heckley the sprint team continues to grow and expand now offering a Learn to Train Program, Regatta Ready Program and High performance Program. 

The different youth program practices run from Monday to Saturday. We meet at the Nelson Rowing Club pavilion at Lakeside Park in Nelson BC. 

The Nelson Paddling club continues to offer Adult Programming and this year will be offering new a Master's skill development program and a new drop in community paddle night where community members can come out and try different types of paddling on our beautiful Kootenay lake! The Nelson Paddling Club's adult learn to paddle program will continue to run this season.

The Nelson Kayak and Canoe Club provides an inclusive, safe and welcoming space for everyone to participate in sport and physical activity regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. We welcome individuals with physical disabilities and strive to adapt programming to individual athletes needs.



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Latest News: Cardboard kayaks take over Nelson’s Lakeside beach

Posted Saturday 10 August 2019

Cardboard and duct tape.

That’s all you are allowed to use, and you have to make the kayak in the park just before the race.

On Monday, racers paddled their kayaks down the lake and around a pylon and back. Many didn’t make it – they floundered and sank, often slowly and hilariously.

The event is organized by the Nelson Paddling Club and sponsored by Columbia Basin trust and Telus. This year there were three race categories: kids, families, and adults.

There were 71 entries this year, up from 46 last year, according to Heather Potkins who organized the event along with Tessa Timmermans and Carson VanHorne.

Frances Tait and Fyn Taylor won the kids’ race.

“I’m feeling really good,” said Fyn after the big win.

“Like a champion,” said Frances.

What was the winning feature of their kayak design?

“The point at the front,” they said. “And it was waterproof. There were no holes.”

See a video of the event on the online version of this story at nelsonstar.com.

 Credit: Bill Metcaf, Nelson Star

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Featured Coach: Jason Rusu

Jason Rusu learned to paddle and race sprint kayak in Saskatoon Saskatchewn and is the first athlete from that province to be named to the Canadian team. Jason competed for Canada at the 1992 Summer Olympics in K-2 500m and 1000m in Barcelona Spain. He also completed in K-2 and K-4 at several world cup and world championships from 1990 - 2003. His best international result was 9th in the K-4 500m event at the World Championships in Gainesville, Georgia.

Jason is an NNCP Level 3 Certified Competitive Coach and has coached at the following Sprint Canoe and Kayak clubs:

  • Saskatoon Racing Canoe Club - 1988-1989
  • Burnaby Canoe And Kayak Club - 1994/95
  • False Creek Racing Canoe Club -1996/97
  • Regional Coach - Canoe Racing BC - 1996/97
  • Calgary Canoe Club - 1997 - 2000/2003-2004

This year Jason will be coaching the Master skill development Program and a high intensity performance training group.

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Our Sponsors

Thank you to the Nelson Athletic Association for the loan of Buoy markers to set up
our sprint distance courses! And thank you to Hellman Canoes and Kayaks for their continued support of our sprint team with boat repairs and Tech apparel ware!