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Last year’s world stand up paddle board champion, Danny Ching, will stand up for kids’ mental health at British Columbia’s inaugural Champion of the Crescent paddle races on July 24.
Ching has competed around the globe, but loves visiting B.C. – especially to paddle in Semiahmoo Bay and Mud Bay.
He will participate in the men’s 10-kilometre race at the Champion of the Crescent.
“We are very excited to have an athlete like Ching racing in a charity event for such an important cause,” said Sarah Kocaba, Director of Corporate and Community Partnerships at the Surrey Hospital and Outpatient Centre foundation – the organization behind the event.
Ching started his athletic career as an outrigger, but added paddle boarding to his repertoire in 2009. He has since won countless races and worked his way up to the top of the sport.
But the Champion of the Crescent isn’t just for professional paddle boarders, Kocaba said. It’s for everyone – from experienced athletes to first-time paddlers.
Organizers wanted Ching to participate because he is one of the best paddle boarders in the world, but also because he spends his spare time introducing newcomers to the sport.
The Californian regularly teaches workshops and records training videos. In 2014, he even taught an all-day performance paddling class in White Rock to individuals interested in learning how to race like a pro.
The Champion of the Crescent includes a five-kilometre recreational race, a kids’ race and a corporate relay in addition to the 10-kilometre competitive race, so there are several opportunities for beginners.
“We’re encouraging people who are new to the sport to come out, have fun and support a worthy cause,” Kocaba said. “There are also some great prizes to be won, including an all-inclusive Bahamas vacation.”
The Champion of the Crescent will raise funds for a new Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Stabilization Unit at Surrey Memorial Hospital that is expected to open in 2017 and help 1,000 children each year.
“I’m excited to be supporting a charity race, especially one that will help kids’ mental health,” Ching said.