PaddlingLife.net update: The NRG College Tour!
Post college life can be scary. Recent graduates Dave Hoffman and Andy Maser are avoiding the real world this fall – spending five weeks at selected college campuses in the southeast, organizing a paddling film festival and conducting free pool clinics. It’s called the eNRG Southeast College Tour and the objective is to increase participation in paddlesports among the college-aged crowd. Their tactic is to organize a fun event through university outdoor programs or kayak clubs, groups that make it possible for financially strapped students to explore sports like whitewater kayaking.
“The goal of the tour is to show students just how fun kayaking can be,” said organizer Dave Hoffman. “If students learn how accessible and fun whitewater kayaking is, participation will increase.”
At a tour stop in Blacksburg, VA Dave was surprised to see Neil Niskanen, the man who took him on his first river trip some 14 years ago. Dave introduced the man to the crowd of Virginia Tech and Radford University students and explained how positive an impact the sport has had on his life. Dave now teaches whitewater kayaking full time for Portland Oregon’s eNRG Kayaking. Neil is a perfect example of what they want to do with the tour – give students a taste of how amazing whitewater kayaking can be and hopefully get them hooked.
Although the focus of the tour is colleges, one of the most rewarding stops was a second grade class at a D.C. area elementary school. At 8:30 in the morning, Dave and Andy walked into a classroom of excited eight-year-olds with a Liquidlogic Ronin and Nomads, a paddling film that documents outreach and huge whitewater in Uganda. After watching the film, the class took turns buckling on a lifejacket and pretending to paddle on the blue carpet of the classroom.
So far, the tour has made stops at Garrett College, Georgetown University, George Washington University, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg Park and Rec., Radford University, UNC Charlotte and the University of Richmond. Upcoming stops include UNC Asheville, University of Tennessee, University of Georgia and Davidson College.
For more information, check out our Facebook group or www.enrgkayaking.com. The 2007 eNRG Southeast College Tour is sponsored by Liquidlogic, NRS, Smith Optics, Teva, Clif Bar, Voz Helmets, Werner Paddles, American Whitewater and The American Canoe Association.
CLICK HERE for AMAZING pool session at Univ. of TN in Knoxville.
Oct. 11 Kickoff at Potomac Paddlesports, Washington, DC
Oct. 12-13 Garrett Community College, Frostburg State, Adventure Sports Center International (Wisp, MD)
Oct. 14-16 Georgetown University, George Washington, Voyager Program @St. Albans, St. Andrews (High Schools in Washington DC area)
Oct. 17-18 University of Richmond and Virginia Commonwealth University* (Richmond, VA)
Oct. 19-21 Whitewater Symposium @ Adventure Sports Center International (Wisp, MD)
Oct. 22-23 Virginia Tech and Radford University (Blacksburg, VA)
Oct. 24-25 UNC Charlotte
Oct. 27-31 Brevard College and Warren Wilson College* (near Asheville, NC)
Nov. 1-3 Association of Outdoor Recreation & Education National Conference (Asheville, NC)
Nov. 6-7 UNC Asheville
Nov. 8-11 University of Tennessee (Knoxville, TN)
Nov. 13-14 Davidson College (Charlotte, NC)
Nov. 15-17 Washington & Lee University and University of Virginia* (Charlottesville, VA)
* Dates to be confirmed
The NRG Kayaking Tour is headed back to the West Coast during Winter and Spring of 08!
Sponsors: American Whitewater, Paddling Life, American Canoe Association, Liquid Logic Kayaks, NRS, Clif Bar, Voz Sports, Smith Optics, Teva