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Chippenham boat given name of ski accident victim
A boat at Chippenham Canoe Club is to be named Jemima in memory of ten-year-old club member Jemima Prees, who died in a skiing accident in Austria last month.
The youngster spent many weekends and summer evenings canoeing with her family at the club in Long Close.
Julia Mannering, a coach at Chippenham Sailing and Canoeing Club, said: “Jemima always made the most of life. She was an active member of the club, often joining in sailing and canoeing activities with her infectious smile never far away.”
Jemima’s parents Tim and Karen Prees were there for the boat’s arrival and said they were moved it would be named after their daughter.
Mr Prees said: “We are touched by the club’s gesture and the fact that it is a vessel open to people of all abilities is something Jemima would have appreciated. She knew not everyone had the same advantages as her.”
The boat, to be named Jemima Florence Daisy, is a katakanu – a cross between a catamaran and canoe – and will be used in the club’s Paddle-ability courses starting next month.
Mrs Mannering, who will lead the classes, said: “This is an exciting development for the canoeing club. We want to encourage people with disability to take part in the sport.”
The club bought the £4,000 custom-made katakanu and trailer with sponsorship from Invacare UK and Specialised Orthotic Seating. It will be available to use from the start of the season on April 2.
More details at www.chippenham-scc.com or leave a message on (01249) 737453.
Donations to the charity Jemima’s Gift have almost reached five figures in just two weeks. Mr and Mrs Prees set up Jemima’s Gift to help children make the most of opportunities in the arts, sport and education.