Canoe Kayak Canada has partnered with Citadel Canine to host the Cpl Nathan Cirillo Memorial Cup Challenge. The event will take place on October 1 and 2 at the Rideau Canoe Club in Ottawa to honour Cpl Nathan Cirillo who was tragically killed at the National War Memorial in 2014. Cpl Cirillo had an affection for service dogs so his regiment, the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada, and his family have graciously granted naming rights for the paddling event to the Citadel Canine Society.
“It was a tragedy that really affected the entire country,” said Brian Archer, President of the Citadel Canine Society. “This event is an opportunity to do something meaningful in Nathan’s memory.”
The event will support Citadel Canine’s service dog program, their BOOTS4PUPS committee in Ottawa and Canoe Kayak Canada. The Citadel Canine Society supplies service dogs for new military veterans and first responders dealing with personal Post Traumatic or Occupational Stress challenges. Canoe Kayak Canada administers national programs to enable Canadians to enjoy paddling and achieve success at the highest levels of competition.
“We’re honoured to be involved with such a significant initiative,” said Casey Wade, CEO of Canoe Kayak Canada. “For members of the public to join together and go for a paddle is a really special way for Canadians to remember Corporal Cirillo.”
The challenge on Saturday, October 1 is open to the public. Participants will take part in a four kilometer paddle at Mooney’s Bay, open to all types of paddle-boats. On-site registration will take place at 1 p.m. with the on-water challenge commencing at 2 p.m. after a moment of silence to honour Cpl Nathan Cirillo.
The public event will be followed by eleven races for competitive paddlers starting on Saturday at 4 p.m. and continuing Sunday. There are races for competitive paddlers under the age of 15, right up to senior-level athletes. The longest competitive race spans 24 kilometres and includes six portages. Competitive paddlers will compete for their clubs and the winning team will be presented with the Cpl Nathan Cirillo Memorial Cup at the end of the regatta on Sunday.