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MPs Take on the Thames in Kayaking Adventure

1 Jul 2013

A group of MPs will exchange their order papers for paddles and spend the morning kayaking on the River Thames. The urban adventure is part of a wider initiative to encourage more of the UK population to get active outdoors. Led by David Rutley MP, 6 MPs will be taking to the water tomorrow to demonstrate the wide range of outdoor activities that can easily be enjoyed by the public.

Starting at the Cremorne Riverside Centre in Chelsea, the paddlers will be guided to Shadwell Basin Activity Centre in E1 by coaches from Plas Y Brenin (Sport England’s National Mountain Sports Centre); Harry Whelan from Kayaking London; and team GB Canoeist, Mallory Franklin. Once there, the MPs will meet a team of primary school children with special needs who are regular participants in water based outdoor activities.

Canoeing is the most popular watersport in the UK and is one of many activities that not only play an important role in the nation’s health and wellbeing agenda, but also boost tourism and the country’s expanding outdoor economy. Getting people active outdoors has become a focus on the national agenda during 2013 and is the subject of several major publicity campaigns: The ‘Britain is GREAT for Adventure’ campaign by the Number 10 communications team; an outdoor themed strand to the NHS Change4Life programme; and Britain on Foot, a long term campaign that aims to encourage at least one million more people in the UK to engage in outdoor activities.

Martin Chester, Director of Training at Plas Y Brenin, comments:
"The UK has a wonderful network of inland and coastal waters that is among the best in Europe. We want to get the message across that these are very accessible activities and canoeing itself is a really healthy low impact exercise for people to enjoy for the rest of their lives. I am sure that the MPs will be impressed by both their own experience on the water, by the enthusiasm for boating shown by the children they meet in Shadwell, and will encourage others to Go Canoeing."

David Rutley MP adds:
"We are looking forward to having a water based adventure literally on our doorstep and to seeing some of the iconic London landmarks from a totally different perspective. But most importantly, the event provides an opportunity to promote important messages about the health and wellbeing benefits of outdoor activities like canoeing. As well as being available in big cities, activities like this attract large numbers of people to rural areas, where adventure tourism forms a crucial part of the local economy. We want to encourage more people to try out some of these activities, which are invariably great value for money, offer really compelling health benefits and show off some of the most attractive parts of the UK in the process."

The team of MPs will meet at the Cremorne Riverside Centre from 9.00am on Tuesday, before embarking onto the Thames. They will paddle to Shadwell Basin Activity Centre (3 - 4 Shadwell Pierhead, Glamis road, E1W 3TD), where they will meet primary school children. They will be available for photos and interviews at Shadwell Basin at 11.00am.

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