Experience the Waterway this August

The Mayor’s Report with Welland Mayor Frank Campion

Frank Campion, Mayor City of Welland. Photo by Thies Bogner

Frank Campion, Mayor City of Welland. Photo by Thies Bogner

By Mayor Frank Campion – August is an exciting month for Welland. Not only do we have three more music festival concert series to look forward to, but we also have a long list of events happening on the waterway. The Welland International Flatwater Centre (WIFC) is gaining international interest and becoming the venue-of-choice in the sport industry. Residents have an opportunity to take advantage of the free entry events and experience what is putting this City on the map for flat water competition and athlete development.

The Provincial Open Water Swim was introduced in 1993 at the recreational waterway, and has become one of the best venues for open swim competition due to the temperature and quality of the water. These athletes hit the water on August 7, and welcome everyone to cheer them on.

The WIFC is the hot spot for international competition in Canoe Kayak. The Ontario

Canoe Kayak Sprint Racing Affiliation (OCSRA) is hosting a two day competition this August 13 to 14, which will bring 500 athletes to compete on the waterway. Competition in Canoe Kayak is fierce and thrilling to watch. This event is a must see for the whole family.

One of the most unique and remarkable events to hit the waterway this summer is the Canadian Dragon Boat Championships this August 19 to 21. This summer marks the 10th anniversary of the Canadian Dragon Boat Championships which will bring nearly 2000 athletes to the waterway. The Dragon Boat competitions are hosted throughout the world, but Welland’s waterway is now a premier location for the National Championships. The WIFC is set to host the Canadian Dragon Boat Championships until 2018 and periodically until the year of 2023.

Dragon Boat Competition is fascinating for many reasons. The race is a showcase of Chinese tradition presented through a colourful display of athletes paddling down the waterway in dragon guised boats. They are encouraged by the beat of a drum, and a hunger to win the National Title. The Dragon Boat Championships embrace and include athletes of all ages, levels, and abilities. Seniors over 60 compete within their own category, along with a breast cancer survivor category, and a blind and partially sighted crew category.

Take advantage of the activity on the waterway this August, enjoy the tradition, and welcome the athletes who have come to Welland to compete and experience the best that this City has to offer.



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