British Canoe Union (BCU) and BA

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quicky
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British Canoe Union (BCU) and BA

Post by quicky » Thu Nov 01, 2007 1:11 pm

BRITISH CANOE UNION PRESS RELEASE

1st November 2007



British Canoe Union (BCU) expresses grave concerns over British Airways’ decision not to transport canoes and

kayaks

British Airways (BA) has announced a ban on kayaks and canoes on all flights (effective from 6th Nov).

Canoeing* is the most popular watersport in the UK and a large proportion of the 1.5 million people who canoe use British Airways to carry their boats abroad. Canoeists travel overseas and transport their boats by aeroplane for a wide variety of reasons, including; taking part in charity fund raising events, to give underprivileged children in developing countries the opportunity to experience canoeing and to develop their self confidence as well as finding new skills. Many others carry their canoes abroad to experience different waters, as currently, the opportunity to experience canoeing on such a wide variety of inland waters in England and Wales is very limited.

BA’s announcement and subsequent statements have caused uproar amongst the canoe and kayaking community who see this decision as a marginalisation of a dynamic sport which has two successful Olympic disciplines as part of it.

Canoeing is truly a sport for all. People of all ages and ability take part in this very varied and enjoyable sport. The proposed action will seriously limit the ability of British canoeists from travelling abroad to take part in various canoeing activities, and would have an impact on tourism in the country.

As the National Governing Body for Canoe Sport, the BCU spends tens of thousands of pounds transporting our athletes abroad via air, even on the occasions when the kayaks are able to travel by road.

The BCU are also concerned about the irony of 2008 being Olympic Year and the fact that our athletes will need to transport their equipment to pre-Olympic events, training camps and to the Olympics themselves in Beijing, China. This will significantly limit our athletes’ ability to prepare for important events. It will have further significant implications as we head towards the London 2012 Olympics. Canoeists from all over the world will need to train on the site of the London Olympics on a regular basis, and some will eventually participate in the Games. Like all sportsmen, these athletes need their equipment. The ban will also impact on those who plan to come and watch the Olympics and then visit the rest of the country, taking the opportunity to canoe where they can.



The BCU supports the British Surf Association who are also expressing real concerns about the action by BA and the limitations it will impose on their sport. Canoe Surfing is another extremely popular aspect of canoe sport and these restrictions will also impact greatly up on them.



Paul Owen, Chief Executive of the BCU comments:



“The decision by BA will restrict much of our canoeing activities and our ability to use waters abroad as preparation for international events. It will limit the opportunities for canoeist to go abroad for charitable and recreational purposes.



Canoeing is a fantastic sport with huge benefits and is enjoyed by so many, which is why it continues to be such a popular and rapidly growing sport and the announcement by BA will hamper its activities.”



* Canoeing is a generic term that includes kayaking



Ends



For further information please contact:

Chloe Nelson-Lawrie, British Canoe Union & Canoe England on 0845 370 9511

Unless otherwise stated, all images are the property of the British Canoe Union (BCU) and any copying or reproduction of them should be agreed in advance.



Notes to the editors:

Set up in 1936 to send a team to the Berlin Olympics, the British Canoe Union (BCU) is the lead body for canoeing and kayaking in the UK. In 2000 the BCU federalised to become the umbrella organisation for the Home Nation Associations in Scotland (SCA), Wales (WCA) and Northern Ireland (CANI). In England, Canoe England was set up, on a par with the other National Associations, as a division of the BCU, to support the development of canoeing in England.



The BCU is responsible for leading and setting the overall framework for the National Associations; including representing canoeing interests through coaching, competition and campaigning for increased access to Britain’s waterways for paddlers. In the Athens Olympics, Canoeing was one of Team GB’s most successful sports with medals for Ian Wynne (Bronze), Helen Reeves (Bronze) and Campbell Walsh (Silver).



Today the BCU has a membership of over 60,000, including over 600 affiliated clubs and 150 approved centres. According to the Paddlesport Review there are an estimated 2 million people take to the water in a canoe each year. The vast majority do so under a watchful eye of one of the 11,000 BCU Qualified coaches or as part of an affiliated organisation. For more information visit: www.bcu.org.uk.

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Ben-E
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Post by Ben-E » Thu Nov 01, 2007 2:15 pm

Nice to see that the cogs are turning at BCU HQ in Nottingham. Now let's just see if they can get a website going and we might have something to compliment them for.

It's interesting how strong the reaction is in this response since this matter has a direct effect on the olympic side of the sport as well.

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Mark R
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Post by Mark R » Thu Nov 01, 2007 5:38 pm

Good.
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David Fairweather
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Post by David Fairweather » Thu Nov 01, 2007 5:42 pm

It's good to see them getting involved, hopefully this increasing pressure will make BA rethink things.

Maybe the BCU could point out that they are resigned to the current dismal state of access to British rivers and so paddlers need to travel abroad.

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Dave @ TRC
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Post by Dave @ TRC » Thu Nov 01, 2007 5:55 pm

We need the big companies to sent letters of complaint about how it will effect there business Canada Uganda south america north america

All the paddle companies around the world we use.


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Paul Smith
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Post by Paul Smith » Thu Nov 01, 2007 5:56 pm

The BCU should say that they will have to fly their paddlers, coaches etc for the olympics, slaloms, canoe polo events etc, by another Airline. Perhaps Virgin, could step in here and win a very easy PR battle - Virgin are the British Airline, as we will support our countries teams.
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Post by TheKrikkitWars » Thu Nov 01, 2007 6:53 pm

The brother of a friend is in the junior squads, ATM they fly easyjet.
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Post by Dave @ TRC » Thu Nov 01, 2007 6:58 pm

TheKrikkitWars wrote:The brother of a friend is in the junior squads, ATM they fly easyjet.
Dont you mean that because ba wont fly them easyjet have said they will take them ?


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TheKrikkitWars
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Post by TheKrikkitWars » Thu Nov 01, 2007 7:04 pm

Dave @ TRC wrote:
TheKrikkitWars wrote:The brother of a friend is in the junior squads, ATM they fly easyjet.
Dont you mean that because ba wont fly them easyjet have said they will take them ?


Dave
I don't know, I'd like to think so.
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Post by Dave @ TRC » Thu Nov 01, 2007 7:15 pm

TheKrikkitWars wrote:
Dave @ TRC wrote:
TheKrikkitWars wrote:The brother of a friend is in the junior squads, ATM they fly easyjet.
Dont you mean that because ba wont fly them easyjet have said they will take them ?


Dave
I don't know, I'd like to think so.
]

Thats what you should be telling BA in emails and your going to spread the word .
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TheKrikkitWars
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Post by TheKrikkitWars » Thu Nov 01, 2007 7:18 pm

I couldn't be certain, I couldn't back it up, and in any case I'm not a BA customer so I really do hold very little sway with them.

If anyone else wants to use a liberal interpretation of (what is essentially) hearsay when dealing with BA be my guest.
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Martyn Read
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Post by Martyn Read » Thu Nov 01, 2007 8:20 pm

Maybe the BCU could point out that they are resigned to the current dismal state of access to British rivers and so paddlers need to travel abroad.
To be fair to them. They did.
Many others carry their canoes abroad to experience different waters, as currently, the opportunity to experience canoeing on such a wide variety of inland waters in England and Wales is very limited.
Martyn[/quote]

ChrisMac
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Post by ChrisMac » Thu Nov 01, 2007 8:43 pm

Whats the betting that come time to goto the Olympics terminal 5 will miraculously be able to fit long long sprint boats etc through its baggage system

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