The World Paddle Association (WPA) will offer points for rankings in the newly formed Kids race divisions for 2015. The WPA announced the formation of the Kids race divisions in July of 2014, which was officially launch at the 2014 WPA Paddle Championships. The Kids divisions will also be included in the regional and national points series for 2015.
True to its mission of providing the best growth for the paddling community, the WPA will include four age divisions for Kids in boys and girls 8 & under, 9-11, 12-14 and 15-17. In the best interest of the board manufactures and the 17-and-under paddlers, all age divisions will compete on 12’6 and under SUP boards. Keeping the 12’6 and under board size for all age groups allows any one paddler in their defined age group to paddle the size of board based on their size and strength.
“The youth segment is growing very rapidly across the country and the world and the WPA feels obligated to provide the structure for the future of our sport,” Byron Kurt, President and Co-founder of the World Paddle Association, said. “As in any market, you need the youth movement to provide sustainability to grow the sport and our future is participating now,”
SUP races have seen increased participation and tremendous success in events where there has been more focus on youth programs, kids racing, and teaching formats. With the addition of more kids programs, more families (and participants) come to events, which brings more exposure to sponsors and helps the sport to grow. To receive points for rankings, all kids will need to become a member of the WPA and compete in WPA sanctioned points races using the PaddleGuru race solution.
The WPA officially launch the Kids age divisions at the 2014 WPA Paddle Championships in St. Petersburg, FL. Along with awarding the national champions at the 2015 WPA Paddle Championships, kids will receive a national ranking which will allow them to gain physical education credit for Middle and High School with any after school SUP program that meets the minimum hours per week.
PaddleGuru, the official race solution of the WPA will manage all of the Kids age divisions points in the WPA rankings system. For more information with membership and points races go to www.worldpaddleassociation.com and www.paddleguru.com.
About the WPA: Since 2009 the mission of the WPA is to provide a comprehensive voice, fair and equal access and organizational structure to paddle sports and stand up paddling (SUP) and its participants in a manner that benefits the collective paddling community. For more info visit www.worldpaddleassociation.com