FEBRUARY 11, 2019

Arizona Paddlesports Training First to Meet National Standard

American National Standards Institute awards “Verified Course” recognition

PHOENIX — The Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) was recognized by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) for offering the nation’s first paddlesports class that meets the national standard for ”On-Water Recreational Boating Skills – Human Propelled.” AZGFD’s “Paddlesports Arizona” course teaches fundamental paddlecraft skills that entry-level recreational boaters should be able to demonstrate after receiving instruction.

In addition to conserving and protecting wildlife and enforcing hunting, fishing and off-highway vehicle laws, Arizona Game and Fish is responsible for registering Arizona watercraft, enforcing boating safety laws and educating the public on safe boating practices.

“Paddlesports Arizona” is the first human-propelled boating course in the U.S. to receive this voluntary third-party verification. According to AZGFD Education Branch Chief Kellie Tharp, paddlesports such as canoeing, paddleboarding and kayaking are growing rapidly in Arizona.

“As paddlesports become more popular on Arizona waterways, the need to educate people on safe operation has become a priority for our department,” said Tharp. “Boating Safety Education Program Manager Kim Jackson and Boating Safety Education Coordinator Josh Hoffman are to be commended for creating a curriculum that meets ANSI’s stringent national standards.”

To see a schedule of free Arizona Game and Fish Department paddlesports classes, visit https://register-ed.com/programs/arizona/17. For more information, contact the Boating Education program at 623-236-7258 or visit www.azgfd.gov/boating.

Under funding provided by a U.S. Coast Guard grant, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators awarded AZGFD with a uniquely-numbered “Verified Course” mark indicating “The content of this course conforms to the American National Standard for on-water skills as verified through an independent third-party assessment process.” For more information about the process, please visit the Verified Course page on the NASBLA website.