McMaster University McMaster Whitewater McMaster Whitewater
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(provided courtesy of Gary Barton)

Whitewater paddling has a long history at McMaster. Before the advent of play paddling in little plastic boats whitewater kayaking in Ontario meant racing. You may not always race, but chances are you got your start that way because you knew someone who did it. Also, everyone knew everyone else in the Sport because it was so small.

There was a string of paddlers at Mac through the 70s and 80s who were Provincial and National team members (Don Irvine, Maureen Bretz, Bill Blight, Peter Van Den Andel, Dieter Poenn, Dave Riley, Mike Elrick, Gary Barton to name a few). There used to be a series of pool slalom events in the winter at University pools (Mac, Queens and Ottawa). We traditionally had pool time at Mac on Sundays, when local Hamilton Whitewater Club members (Harry Hewick was a notable local member along with his nephews) would also come to the Mac pool as well. At some point we wanted more pool time to train. The pool admin pushed back saying we couldn’t. So we formed an offical student club at Mac, then they had to give us pool time. This also gave us a budget from the student union. We did trips and a lot of instruction of new members. Gary Barton also ran a kayaking program for Phys-Ed students.

A few years later, the kayak club became the Outers Club. The focus changed to include a variety of outdoor activities. Racers started to gravitate towards schools in the Ottawa or Vancouver areas.


In 2006 Robbie Gibb, Jeff Masuda, Steve Bickerton, Laura Duncan and Stacey Gray got together to form what is known as McMaster Whitewater today. Details are murky, but through dedication and countless hours contributed by volunteers, McMaster Whitewater now:

  • Owns a fleet of whitewater boats
  • Runs multiple “guided” trips every summer
  • Runs pool sessions and beginner courses
  • Facilitates peer trips among its members

McMaster Whitewater exec 2012/2013

Joel Roeleveld - Club Co President

Mike Gordon - Club Co President

Brad Statham - Vice President

Laura Duncan

Leigh Anne Roddick

Jon Day

Tamara Poropat

Chantal Deketele

Past exec

Greg Barltrop, Robertson Gibb, Jeff Masuda, Steven Bickerton, Mark Evans, Stacey Gray, Geoff Boyd,