Haley Daniels didn’t just happen into sports. This winning women’s white water slalom canoeist has grown into a fierce competitor and is now the reigning Canadian Champion. But she’s quick to tell me her drive “is more than just me.” Seems her great grandfather was an international skeet shooter. Her grandfather played pro football on the Toronto Argos team that won a Grey Cup. Her uncle has competed on the national water polo team. Her dad has held junior swim records, and has also been a gate judge for canoe slalom as well as an international technical official.
“That, and my family hit the Rockies every weekend when we were growing up,” the Alberta resident says. “We were hiking, skiing, paddling, canoe tripping… this kind of activity was steeped in me early on.”
Now at age 30, Haley is more than a well-rounded athlete. She’s a real ambassador for her sport. Because Olympic canoeing was a men-only sport, she set out to help organize a group of female canoeists from around the world. They then led the charge to put pressure on the International Canoe Federation to make her sport gender equal. As a result, the Tokyo Olympics this summer will represent the first time women’s canoe events will be included in the Games.
“Haley gives more than she takes every single day,” says Heather McRae, Vice President, Special Projects QED Marketing, “and our world is a richer place as a result”.
As is the case with most non-professional athletes, Haley needs financial support. Please consider donating to her work through her website (haleydaniels.ca) where you can also purchase T-shirts, hand carved canoes, vegan cookbooks or even participate I the painted paddle auction.
Meanwhile… GO HALEY GO!!