For many students, the first year of university is spent learning how to juggle coursework with a greater sense of freedom. However, for his first year, Commerce student Scott Robinson has set an additional challenge for himself. The Niagara-on-the-Lake native has decided to join Kayak for the Cure, a growing movement that combines the popular summer water sport with fundraising for cancer research.

Robinson’s interest in the sport was piqued at an early age.

“When I was nine-years-old I lived on the shore of Lake Ontario […] My neighbours bought two kayaks and they said ‘anytime you want to use them just go ahead,’ so me and my sister would go out and use them in the lake, almost daily in the summer. Since then it’s just been anytime we can kayak, we kayak,” he said.

He added that the idea to kayak to Toronto had been a goal of his for quite some time.

“I didn’t just want to do that. I wanted to do something worthwhile too. I wanted to make a difference and do something substantial,” he explained. “Everybody knows somebody who’s been affected by cancer. People close to me personally have been affected by cancer.”

He and his team have set the goal to raise $10,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society before he sets out on his marathon kayak.

Robinson’s route is ambitious. He will set out from Queen’s Royal Park in Niagara-on-the-Lake between Aug. 12 and 16 depending on the weather forecast and complete the 52 km journey at the mouth of the Humber River. To avoid dangerous water conditions, he will run the majority of the route overnight. The trip is expected to take between 12 and 16 hours.

Robinson has already begun to train for his challenge.

“I’ve got two buddies here at Mac and we’ve been working out in The Pulse all semester,” he said.  He added that as soon as his finals are over, he will begin training in his kayak on a daily basis.

In anticipation for his mid-August voyage, Robinson and his team have organized a number of fundraising events. He sounded particularly excited for a smaller kayak trip set for Aug. 8.

“We’re inviting anyone who wants to come to join my team for a kayak up the Niagara River for an hour and a half… it’s hopefully just going to be a mob of kayaks going up the river. It’ll be a really nice picture,” he said.

Despite his extensive training, Robinson admitted, “I’m pretty nervous. When I first set it out, it wasn’t in my mind like I had to do it. But now as it’s coming to be announced, I’m committed to going across this thing,” he said.

Robinson’s excitement is also apparent though. “It’s been one of my dreams for a long time,” he said. “Accomplishing that’s going to be pretty cool.”

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