The inaugural Canoe Wales awards have celebrated the quality of paddlesport talent in Wales, the efforts of those who make the sport possible, and the venues and events that make Wales such a popular place for the sport.

The awards, sponsored by South Wales law firm CJCH Solicitors, were presented at a special event at the Cardiff International White Water Centre.

“We had a fantastic response from our members,” said Canoe Wales general manager, Simon Clarke. “There were more than 60 nominations across the categories, and it was a great opportunity to celebrate and congratulate all those that have paddled, travelled, supported and enjoyed paddlesports in Wales over the last year.”

Winners were:

Volunteer of the year: Marion Bryant of Llandysul Paddlers;

Senior Coach of the year: Gareth Bryant (Llandysul)

Young Coach of the year: Serena Williams (Cardiff)

Paddle-ability Coach of the year: David Eade (Llandysul)

Young Paddler of the year: Sam Merritt (Llandysul)

Club of the year: Llandysul Paddlers;

Event of the year: Llandysul River Festival;

Senior Paddler of the year: Tom McLay (Llanrwst)

Team of the year: Snowdonia Slalom;

Venue of the year: Llyn Padarn, Snowdonia.

“Canoe Wales is an ambitious organisation on and off the water,” said Simon Clarke. “We are looking forward to building on this first successful event and pushing forward into 2017 celebrating and congratulating more of the Welsh paddling community.

“We’re extremely grateful to CJCH Solicitors, for their support, which made the awards possible.’’

Canoe Wales is the national governing body for paddlesport in Wales. Anyone interested in getting involved in paddlesport should contact or phone 01678 521199.