From Ringside to Riverside: Our Kayaking Adventure

Every Wednesday, a group of students from the Downtown Boxing Gym goes kayaking on the Detroit River. Detroit River Sports is teaching us everything we need to know to be safe on the water. Check out our blog post below including writing contributions from two of our 6th grade students, Makyla and Roderick.

What’s it like to kayak on the Detroit River? “It’s fun,” says 11 year old Makyla.

“First, you have to paddle and stay focused. I like how much experience you can get from doing this, when you are in the water. Now I feel like I can do anything challenging in the world.”

Every Wednesday for the next five weeks, 10 elementary students are participating in two clinics: one is “kayak boot camp” to learn the basics; the other includes games and water safety skills. Middle and high school students will participate during the following five weeks. The experience shows our students a new side of Detroit many have never seen before – two miles of canals into the Detroit River, ending at Belle Isle Beach.

“Most students from the inner city do not have access to pools or water sports, but water safety is important to learn,” explains our academic coordinator Kristin Lusk. “It is also important for them to learn about the natural resources in our city.”

“I like it because when you’re in water, you have to be focused and strong” Roderick, 11, said about his experience. “At first I felt like I was going to fall off, but after about 5 minutes of practice I got used to it.”

While kayaking, Roderick described the water as “deep,” and the sky “blue with a few clouds.” He also made a note of how hot it was outside. Scenery from the kayak included “lots of trees, houses along the canal, and dogs.” He even saw a fish that swam under his kayak.

“I learned that you need to listen,” Roderick added. “I would tell my friends to try it, and teach them, but make sure to tell them that they need to be focused and listen.”

The Downtown Boxing Gym thanks Detroit River Sports for providing the training and equipment our students need to enjoy this weekly kayaking adventure. We are excited to hit the water and keep working on our skills over the next 10 weeks.