A COMMITTEE member at a Kendal-based paddle sports club has received a national award recognising his years of service to paddling.

Mike Hayward, of Lakeland Canoe Club (LCC), which holds weekly pool sessions at Kendal Leisure Centre and regular trips around the Lakes, was chosen for an Outstanding Contribution Award by British Canoeing.

Mr Hayward was presented with the award by Mike Sunderland, chairman of Cumbria Canoeists, the Cumbrian branch of British Canoeing, during a paddle sports film festival at the Brewery Arts entertainment venue in Kendal on Tuesday evening.

The film festival was organised by LCC with support from Pyranha Kayaks.

Words of support for Mr Hayward have flooded in, with LCC members painting a picture of a friendly, dedicated and hard-working man.

One person said: "Since I first joined LCC some 35 years ago, Mike Hayward has been at the forefront of paddling in the club.

"Mike has been a driving force for white water kayaking, sea kayaking and open canoeing."

Another said: "Mike has been the driving force in bringing LCC back to life.

"He has encouraged myself and many others to go paddling and to organise trips for others."