I paddle for equality sweeps the SUP community
I paddle for equality. Arguable the gnarliest standup paddling race in the world has come and gone, but the aftermath of Red Bull Heavy Water 2017 (an APP World Tour) continues. The SUP community around the world is standing up to join the #ipaddleforequality campaign. Thirty two of the world’s best SUP athletes received a special invitation. Female athletes, however, were not invited – for the second year in a row.
Earlier this week, Annabel Anderson started the conversation via social media on equality in sport, “The boys get to race for $50,000 this week. The girls didn’t get invited. The real question is – in 2017 are ‘we’ ok with that?? Is this the example we want to set for our sisters and daughters?”
The answer was a resounding no. We are not ok with that and that is not the example we want to set for the future. In reaction, three days before the event, the APP Director contacted Candice Appleby and Fiona Wylde, scrambling to solicit female competitors.
This is inappropriate, unprofessional, and unsportsmanlike. I paddle for gender equality in sport. Provide equal opportunity for both men and women to rise to one’s potential, enjoy the same rights and opportunities to train for and participate in standup paddling races and events.
Several events exist with equal opportunities for women and men to participate. Carolina Cup, the Gorge Race, Pacific Paddle Games, and the SUP Fiesta all offer equal opportunities to race along with prize money. Thank you to these trailblazing events and organizers.
Top female athletes have earned their spot along with the men. In the words of Candice Appleby, “it is our goal to set forth a path of success for the future of our sport that includes; equality, transparency, and equal opportunity for all athletes.”
SUP Examiner fully supports gender equality and calls upon all race organizers to embrace the ethos of #ipaddleforequality. Join the effort to demand a better future for all athletes in our sport. I paddle for equality.