Making waves: Canadian Womens Rafting Team raising funds to head to world championships

The 2022 World Rafting Championship is taking place in Bosnia from May 24 to Jun. 1

A team of young female athletes are making waves and raising funds to take their rafting talents to the world stage in a few months.

The Canadian Women’s Rafting Team won the national championships on the Ottawa River in 2019, and now set their sights on the World Rafting Championship, taking place in Bosnia from May 24 to June 1, 2022.

Unlike other years, the International Rafting Federation and Raft Canada aren’t sponsoring the event, so the group of athletes are finding other ways to get themselves to Bosnia for the competition.

The team, made up of a group of young female athletes – Maris Fraser, Erin Webber, Ali Preece, Hannah Brown and Kailee Marland – are putting together a number of fundraisers, including a 24-hour Paddle-A-Thon and a silent auction featuring a number of prizes.

The Canadian Women’s Rafting Team: Kailee Marland, Hannah Brown, Maris Fraser, Ali Preece and Erin Webber. (Contributed by Maris Fraser)

The Canadian Women’s Rafting Team: Kailee Marland, Hannah Brown, Maris Fraser, Ali Preece and Erin Webber. (Contributed by Maris Fraser)

The team had plans to travel to China in 2020 for the World Rafting Championships; however, the tournament was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

At this year’s championships, teams from across the globe will compete in a number of events including sprint, slalom, and head-to-head. Scores from each event are added together for a final tally to determine the winner. According to Fraser, it’s important for each team to have a varied set of skills in order to navigate each event. Popular rafting nations like Brazil and New Zealand will be competing in this year’s competition.

Fraser works and rafts in Revelstoke on the Illecillewaet River for Apex Rafting.

“Yeah I love it, it’s the best job in the world,” said Fraser.

Fraser was born and raised in Nappanee, Ont. She grew up going on canoe trips, took an outdoor program in college that pushed her rafting to the next level, tested her skills in Australia, and has been raft guiding ever since.

“I love rivers. I just think they’re so cool because they connect everything in the world.”

The team has started a GoFundMe campaign tied with the 24-hour Paddle-A-Thon on March 22 to raise funds for their expenses. For every $20 donated to the GoFundMe, the team will paddle for 15 minutes on a lake in B.C.’s Interior.

The team is hosting a silent auction on their website starting on Sunday (March 20) with prizes including four Play All Day Passes at Revelstoke Mountain Resort, wall art by a local artist, two day raft trip passes with Apex Rafting, and a 60-minute massage with Jude Westoby at Boulder Mountain Massage.

To learn more about the team, their journey, the silent auction and how to donate, visit

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