If you find yourself in Nepal from the 23rd to the 25th of November this year, you’d be hard pressed to find a better event that the Himalayan River Fest to visit!
Being in the Himalaya, the rivers are ripe for kayaking, canoeing and rafting. Many people travel to the area to take part in these sports, and often they rely on the expert knowledge of local Nepali guides.
The Himalayan River Fest is in celebration of the fantastic white water opportunities available in the area, races and competitions are open to all nationalities, with freestyle rodeo, slalom, down river and fun races all available. If you’re not keen on racing, then it’s still a great event to come to – you’ll be sure to see some spectacular kayaking!
The event has some fantastic aims associated with it though. Guides in Nepal usually earn around 22 per month – required to support themselves and their family. Training for, and maintaining the various certifications to keep you safe is incredibly expensive, and so the organisers aim to raise enough money to subsidise training courses for 12-20 Nepalese per year.
Kit for these sports is also very expensive – the Himalayan River Fest hopes to collect kit for the guides, to help them remain in the profession and stay safe themselves.
Finally, kayaking is not a recognised national sport in Nepal, despite the high calibre of participants and the opportunities for the sport in the country. This prevents funding to aid Nepali paddlers getting to international events. By putting on a strong competition, and holding meetings with the Ministry of Sport in Nepal, they hope to get the Ministry stepping in the right direction when it comes to kayaking in Nepal. Hopefully Nepal can then be represented in the World Championships or Olympics by 2016.
Oh, and let’s not forget, they also want to hold an incredible party too!
So, by going along to the Himalayan River Fest and supporting them, not only will you have a fantastic few days, but you might also play a small part in getting Nepali kayaking the recognition it deserves!