Nantahala Racing Club, a Swain County non-profit organization dedicated to introducing youth and families to whitewater recreation and developing competitive prospects in whitewater slalom, freestyle and wildwater paddling, has won its fourth grant for the 2016 season. Combined, these grants total nearly $43k, and will be use to get paddlers from Western North Carolina and beyond on the water.
The full list of grants earned by the Nantahala Racing Club includes:
The Columbia Sportswear/Grassroots Outdoor Alliance Belay Grant for $5k that will go to support the Nantahala Kibs Club, an afterschool program that encourages kids to get outdoors and be active by learning how to paddle on local rivers.
A Patagonia Environmental Grant for almost $2k will support efforts of the club to restore the river banks and access areas on the Nantahala River that have been eroded due to high water events and mistreatment. This grant comes from Patagonia’s 1% for the Planet alliance.
A Craig H. Nielson Foundation grant for $20k. NRC and the Knoxville chapter of Team River Runner joined forces to obtain this grant which will provide specialized equipment and training for instructors to empower paddlers with spinal cord injuries to pursue recreational and competitive paddlesports goals.
The Cherokee Preservation Foundation awarded the NRC a $16k grant to provide a leadership program for Cherokee Indian youth. The program includes technical, cultural and leadership components. By the end of the course, participants will have earned their ASHI CPR and First Aid Certification, an ACA level II Instructor Certification and will become Junior Instructors for the NRC’s Nantahala Kids Club. All of this while learning the impact of rivers on Cherokee culture and how to respect the lands of their Cherokee ancestors.
NRC Executive Director Daniel Willis commented, “Everyone in the NRC and NOC has felt the intrinsic value of outdoor pursuits. A large part of our mission is to break down barriers to participation in whitewater sport. These grants will help us share the intrinsic values that water sports can provide to those that may not have the opportunity previously due to their disability and access issues.”
NOC representative to the NRC and avid paddlesports competitor, Chris Hipgrave said “”I’m incredibly proud of the momentum we’ve achieved this grant season for the Nantahala Racing Club and the programs we’ll be able to deliver as a result.” Chris hopes that these developments will help to ” take our relationship with Team River Runner to new levels of support for our returning service members.”
The NRC Board of Directors hopes that these grants will reinforce the pupose of the club as an organization that engages youth and their families through paddlesports.
For information on Nantahala Racing Club programs and membership, or to make a donation supporting NRC, please visit nantahalaracingclub.com.