Anschutz Foundation Funds Paracanoe Program Equipment

Dec. 19, 2012, 12:10 a.m. (ET)
Rick Lewis and Russel Bridges in adaptive kayaks on the Oklahoma River. Photo by Georgia Read.

OKLAHOMA CITY – December 18, 2012  A $52,500 donation will fund the purchase of new boats for the OKC RIVERSPORT Community Adaptive Paddling program on the Oklahoma River. The donation from OPUBCO Communications Group, made possible by the Anschutz Foundation, will purchase 10 kayaks and two outrigger-style canoes for the program.

“This donation will provide access to the same equipment that is standard at the highest level of Paracanoe competition, while also allowing individuals to enjoy the sport recreationally,” explained U.S. Olympic Coach Shaun Caven, who is also Director of Canoe Sprinting at the Oklahoma City National High Performance Center.

“And, with this donation, we can help develop those athletes who show the potential to represent the USA at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio. It’s gifts like this that are the building blocks of Paralympic dreams,” Caven added. Paracanoe will debut as a Paralympic sport at the 2016 Games.

“Since launching an adaptive canoe/kayak program this fall, we’ve really seen the impact providing access to these types of activities can have for disabled individuals,” said Jack McMahan who coordinates the OKC RIVERSPORT Community Adaptive Paddling program.

“I think the adaptive program we offer could be the largest and most beneficial program of its kind in the country and we’re grateful to OPUBCO Communications Group for helping us get to the next level in what we can offer the disabled community here in Oklahoma,” said McMahan.

“We’re very excited about supporting the adaptive program OKC RIVERSPORT offers to the community,” said OPUBCO Communications Group President Chris Reen.

“Knowing our donation will supply equipment for both a recreational group, as well as those who strive to represent the USA at international competitions makes this a win-win on a number of levels. We feel this program could really have a lasting, life-changing impact for many and we’re excited to play a role in helping someone realize their dreams,” Reen added.

The new equipment will be available when the OKC RIVERSPORT Community Adaptive Program resumes in the spring of 2013.

To learn more information on the program, including how to participate as an athlete or volunteer, visit or contact or (405) 552-4040.

The OKC Boathouse Foundation promotes the use and development of the Oklahoma River as a world-class urban aquatic venue and provides access to rowing, kayaking and fitness programs for people of all ages and abilities. OKCBF programs pursue the highest goals of sports and embrace the principles of the Olympic spirit which inspire athletes to work toward personal excellence, embrace the power of teamwork, and practice respect for all people and the environment. To learn more or get involved, call (405) 552-4040 or visit, or

USA Canoe/Kayak is a non-profit membership organization based in Oklahoma City, OK, promoting canoe and kayak racing in the United States. A member of the United States Olympic Committee, USA Canoe/Kayak is the national governing body for the Olympic sports of Flatwater Sprint and Whitewater Slalom and the official U.S. federation of the International Canoe Federation. Other paddling sports sanctioned by USACanoe/Kayak include Marathon, Freestyle, Wildwater, Stand Up Paddleboard, Canoe Polo, Canoe Sailing, Outrigger, and Dragon Boat. For more information about USA Canoe/Kayak, please visit us on the web at, on Twitter at @usacanoekayak and Like us on Facebook at