Trek Polamaa 2018, Feb 17-18, Speaker Profiles: Paddle for Future Program – Kumaran Mahalingam

Topic: Paddle for Future Program

Kumaran Mahalingam will talk about the Stand Up Paddle expedition from GangesSUP Expedition and put on display a video on Paddle for Future and Kuppai2Kappai/ SUP2SUP Project. Paddleboarding is a water sport which involves propelling a surfboard with a paddle while kneeling or standing. Stand up Paddleboarding started off in Hawaii a few decades back, where the surf instructor will stand up on a paddle board and instruct his students. Paddle for Future program strives to conserve these water bodies through research, education, and adventure sports.With a team of environmentalists, Fitness experts, Engineers, Geologists, Herpetologists and Zoologists, Paddle for Future program fights to conserve our water bodies for our future generations by inspiring a personal connection to the environment and help develop the actions to sustain it. Paddle for the future program is the only event which introduced SUP to more people in India than any other SUP program.

Over the last 3 years, the team has

  • Reached more than 5000 school kids on special focus for government-run schools through workshops, outdoor learning programs which asserts on the importance of being connected to nature.
  • Tons of trash through coordinated mass clean ups and daily clean up by employing locals on daily wages, providing employment opportunities and leaving behind cleaner water bodies.
  • Introduced and conducted numerous free discover paddle boarding sessions. These sessions engaged urban citizens in understanding water bodies and their relationship with it. Eye-opener session which encouraged more people to step outside their comfort zone and attempt an ‘adventure in their backyard’, mobilised young people engagement in civic issues via adventure and finally showcasing the immense accessibility of the SUP sport  (the fastest growing water sports in the world!) as a means of creating additional Eco-tourism opportunities in India’s great outdoors.
  • Paddle for Future – Green cover initiative, a program to plant and maintenance of native tree species around water bodies using local residents.

About Speaker:

Kumaran Mahalingam is an Indian Geologist, stand-up paddler, and a conservation educator. He holds three Limca book of Records for different feats in stand up paddling. He is also a certified wilderness first responder from National Outdoor Leadership School, USA. He has been paddling across the length and breadth of the country on water bodies, for a couple of years now. As he paddles, he also generates awareness on conserving water bodies and eco-system around us, through this sport. His unwavering passion has brought many laurels both in form of records and fame. He has three independent Limca Book of Records, to his credit. Longest stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) for seven kilometres in 90 minutes into the sea of Bay-of-Bengal – 25th Feb 2015.

  1. Longest stand-up paddleboarding feat on river Godavari by covering 31 km from Pattiseema to Iskcon temple in Rajahmundry, Andhra Pradesh in 3 hours during the monsoon season – on July 3, 2016.
  2. Stand-up paddleboarding on most water bodies by an individual for performing 58 SUP trips on 19 different water bodies – 17 in India and one each in Sri Lanka and Malaysia – covering total distance of 484 km as of June 30, 2016. He accomplished it as part of a mission to understand the ecosystem of different water bodies and to promote paddleboarding.

Some of the other notable achievements are

  • First in the world to stand-up paddle a distance of 2,700 kilometers along the descent of the River Ganges in 101 days between October 2016 and January 2017. First-ever recording of river Gangetic dolphins (Platanista gangetica) by standup paddleboarding. A total of 900 dolphins were spotted during his expedition. The aim of the adventure was to also use this sport to campaign for cleaner and safer rivers and also raising awareness against single-use plastic (SUP)  i.e #SUPagainstSUP, encouraging more people to step outside their comfort zone and attempt an ‘adventure in their backyard’.
  • Highest stand up paddle boarding (SUP) 16618 ft across Tso Ltak Lake, Ladakh, India 2016.
  • First ever to paddleboard in River Shyok, Nubra valley, Sep 2016.

Apart from paddleboarding expedition, Kumaran, who talks and conducts workshops on paddling & geology for school students, asserts on the importance of being connected to nature. As Nature educator, Kumaran reached more than 4000 schoolkids through his outdoor learning programs.

Chennai Trekking Club Turns 10 this February and If there is one event that brings all the nature-lovers under one roof, it is “Trek Polama”, the annual trekking symposium organized by the Chennai Trekking Club. Trek Polama is a two-day event that comprises talks, workshops, live demos by renowned speakers, in addition to a range of indoor and outdoor activities which happens on Feb 17-18, 2018. Don’t miss out the talk that will change your way of living !! What are you waiting for?

Register here

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