WWF-Canada Blog:

Kayaker and RBC Olympian John Hastings applies hard work and dedication to training and keeping Canada beautiful

What is your special connection to water?

As a member of the Canadian National Kayak Team, I have had the unique opportunity to travel the world and witness firsthand the many struggles associated with the world’s supply of freshwater. Whether it is pollution or receding water levels in rivers and lakes, clean freshwater is becoming increasingly scarce. My passion for kayaking, and my goal for Olympic excellence was fostered on the many rivers and lakes around the world, and to see them disappear would not only be devastating to me, but to the various communities that I have had the privilege to live in. My livelihood is on the water. It is where I have had my greatest triumphs and most devastating failures. Ultimately, and perhaps most importantly, it is what will take me to the Olympics.

(C) John Hastings

What is your favourite body of water in Canada?

The Ottawa River is my favourite body of water in Canada. Not only has it been a formative part of my development as an athlete, but also, it is an iconic piece of the Ottawa landscape.

Why do you think it’s important to keep our water clean and healthy?

Water facilitates life. We need to ensure our water is clean, not just for ourselves, but for the giant ecosystem we are a part of.

(C) John Hastings

Why have you chosen to support the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup?

Canada is a beautiful country rich with water and natural brilliance. Just like training to make it to the Olympics, maintaining Canada’s beauty and brilliance requires a lot of hard work and dedication. The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup is just one of the components needed to help keep Canada beautiful.


Why do you want the public to participate in the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup?

Everyone who participates in the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup will walk away with a sense of ownership and pride. It’s just like shoveling your driveway or cleaning your room; you will walk away thinking, “yeah, I did that.” Not everyone will be motivated to help out, but we are Canadian, and we love our country. So let’s stand up together and make a change. It’s in our nature to do so!

Sign up at ShorelineCleanup.ca to participate in one of Canada’s largest direct action cleanup efforts from September 15-23, 2012 – right in your own community. Adopt a local shoreline as a site coordinator, or volunteer with an existing cleanup. The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup is as joint initiative between the Vancouver Aquarium and WWF.

John is part of the RBC Olympian program, which hires Canadian Olympic and Paralympic athletes as community ambassadors to bring messages of leadership and excellence to Canadian communities. The program provides Olympians with the opportunity to gain valuable work experience to prepare for life after sport, while also receiving much-needed funding to realize their dreams. RBC has become a proud supporter of the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup through a recent grant of $100,000 from the RBC Blue Water Project.