On Wednesday 11 March at 8am paddlers set off from the Sale Rowing Club for the start of the 2015 Sale To Sea disability kayaking challenge. The kayaking challenge is held every two years, with participants travelling from the Port of Sale to Lakes Entrance over four days and approx. 120km. It aims to give people of all abilities the opportunity to show that they can overcome adversity and achieve their own individual goals.

GippSport’s Access for All Abilities program supported paddlers for the second challenge in a row. Leading up to the 4-day challenge, a number of training sessions were facilitated with the support of the Rural Access program from Wellington Shire and the Sale To Sea committee. Five individuals of varying abilities joined GippSport’s team to participate in all four days of the challenge, rotating as needed in tandem kayaks.

Over the first couple of days Mother Nature decided to provide windy and choppy waters, with all participants putting in a great effort in trying conditions (Ed – We wont speak about Brenton’s sunk kayak on day 2!!!).  Much nicer conditions greeted paddlers for the shorter legs of the challenge on day 3 & 4.

As well as providing a physical challenge for paddlers, the event had a great social aspect to it and was a great way to meet new people.

GippSport would like to thank everybody who supported us over the four days and with practice sessions in the lead up. A huge thank you to Dave and John from Bank Vic who jumped into tandem kayaks and assisted with supporting our paddlers over the journey.

Funds raised from the Challenge provide support to those within our Gippsland East community who have been affected by permanent or long term disability, assisting them to attain/gain an improved quality of life and independence. We look forward to upcoming challenges, and providing a regular kayaking opportunity to anyone interested.

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