Kayaking Club looks to recruit

The Eastern Michigan University Kayaking Club is looking for new members.

Kayaking Club President James Blackburn explained that five years ago the club was thriving. The previous members had pool sessions every Sunday, predominantly in the winter and in the spring, and the club frequently took trips to local flat water rivers and even traveled to much larger rivers for whitewater rafting.

Since the “elders” left, Blackburn said the club has never regained its momentum. The current members are hoping to bring the club back to its previous stature.

Blackburn started kayaking 15 years ago and has been involved in a couple different programs. Before joining the EMU club, he was a member of the University of Michigan Kayaking Club. The U of M club was smaller, but structured very similar to EMU’s.

The EMU club works with various experience levels and will help
anyone who is willing to learn. The club has upwards of 30 active members and they always embrace new faces. No experience is necessary and students are welcome to stop by and check out the club before they join.

Blackburn said the membership process is easy. Prior to the first lesson, students will fill out a release form. The club has a $15 fee to officially become a member for the year, but the first session is free. The club provides the first session as a way for students to try out kayaking without the burden of a large payment.
The cost is low because they already have their own equipment.

There is no need to go out and buy your own gear, especially if you are just gauging your interest in the program. The club has kayaks, paddles, helmets, personal floatation devices and anything else that is required. With all the equipment they supply, there is no need to be up the creek without a paddle.

If your schedule is too busy this fall, you can always show up in the winter semester. Blackburn said the club welcomes members throughout the year.

“The Kayaking Club is very open and encouraging,” Blackburn said.
The club is meant for recreational purposes and is not very competitive; it serves as a nice way to have fun and socialize while practicing. The club plays toward different member’s comfort levels and engages in both flat water and whitewater kayaking though not every member needs to participate in both.

Blackburn hopes to recruit more members, as he feels the club is not utilized as much as it could be.

“We are trying to get as much buzz as possible about the organization,” Blackburn said.

The club recruited at this year’s Fajita Fest, a student organization mixer which is held at the beginning of each school year. They received many responses and hope to receive even more as the year carries on.

The Kayaking Club meets every Sunday from 3 -5 p.m. at the Jones pool located inside the Rec/IM.

Interested readers can direct their questions to Blackburn or any other active member. Blackburn can be contacted at jblackb4@emich.edu.

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