BC First Nation father-son duo set to compete in world-class competition in Australia


That’s what Len Morris wants to take home a trophy… not only for Team Canada but for his family.

He’s racing with a team of five First Nation men in the World Distance Championships in Australia this upcoming August.

Morris found his love for canoeing when his parents, Madeline and Ivan started the Geronimo Canoe Club.

Ivan was once a world-class rower.

“I watched him do all the hard work just to be the champion and it made me wanna be that,” said Len.

“I pushed hard to get where I’m just by watching him do it. ”

And years later, he’s passing on the same skills to his own son, Jasper.

“I love paddling so much,” said Jasper, the 16-year old.

“Especially in the morning, it’s pretty calm. I love the mornings. It’s crazy I still can’t believe I’m going over there.”

The youngest member on the team has been paddling since he was five years old.

Now, he’ll be competing against the best in the world for his first time.

“I think we’re out on the water every day since the beginning of the year,” said Jasper.

“Maybe 10k? But it changes every day.”

“We’re on the water quite a bit. We try to do an hour, hour and a half,” said Len.

This isn’t their first time on the global stage.

In 2017, they made it to the world championships in Tahiti.

Although they’re comfortable in local waters, the seas off Tahiti brought a new challenge.

Their canoe broke in half in the last international competition.

“It was kind of heartbreaking,” said Len.

“It got to a point where it was just about survival. Those waves are too big. We couldn’t get the water out fast enough.”

Today, they’re training around southern Vancouver Island in a 65-kilometre relay, preparing for the big day.

Jasper said he plans to carry on the legacy first started by his grandpa Ivan.

“It’s really fun doing it with my dad. He’s really good.”

The father-son duo is looking forward to competing against the world’s best once again, but they still have one significant hurdle to overcome.

As of June 2019, the team has only raised $3,000 out of $18,000 to get there.

You can support the club here: www.geronimocanoeclub.com/donate

Aaron GuillenAaron Guillen

Recent Stories

Send us your news tips and videos!