February 12, 2020

Veterans and families can enjoy free kayaking at SIU

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Veterans and their families can participate in three upcoming kayaking clinics courtesy of several groups, including Veteran Adventures at Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Touch of Nature Environmental Center.

One session each month

The kayak clinics will all take place from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesdays at the SIU Student Recreation Center, 300 E. Grand Ave., in Carbondale. Clinic dates are:

  • Feb. 26.
  • March 25.
  • April 29.

Learn how with provided equipment

The clinics are open to all veterans along with their family members. Participants will learn the basics of safe kayaking including paddle strokes and rolling a kayak.

The new Team River Runner Southern Illinois (TRR-SoIL), chapter is joining with the Marion VA Medical Center and SIU’s Veteran Adventures and Recreational Sports and Services to sponsor the clinics.

Kayaks, outriggers, paddles and adaptive paddles, universal padding seats and personal flotation devices will be provided. Participants should bring swimsuits and towels; goggles, nose plugs and water socks or shoes are optional.

No cost

Registration is free for all veterans and their family members. Sign up online for one or more sessions.

The Veteran Adventures program sponsors a wide variety of programs for military personnel, veterans and their families to help them with the transition to civilian life. Thanks to fundraising efforts and donations, all of these activities are offered for free. Learn more about Veteran Adventures online, by emailing Greg Nejmanowski at nemooutdoors@gmail.com or calling 618/453-3953.

In addition to the kayak clinic, TRR-SoIL offers local paddling sessions and weekend trips throughout Southern Illinois and surrounding states, in partnership with other regional chapters. TRR-SoIL is a non-profit organization that promotes physical, psychological and social health among veterans through paddling sports. Check out the organization’s Facebook page or email ethan.blumhorst@teamriverrunner.org for additional information.