Cheema was established in 1969 by a group of concerned parents and community members. Frank Garner, now the Canadian Chief Official for the International Canoe Federation was our first coach. He had his work cut out for him because even though canoeing was established, and had a long history in Dartmouth, no one in Waverley had ever pulled a competitive stroke.
Frank had some great raw material. The youth of Waverley and Fall River were ready for a challenge and they jumped in with both feet. Originally, the club was located on Lake William and operated out of the Flying Club on Bob Mcdonald's property but within a few years moved to Lake Thomas; at first running out of a basement/garage on Hall Road and then moving to the present location in 1971. (see "First Chatter" article 1969)
Cheema won its first National race in 19??. It was the ???????. By 19?? Cheema was beginning to create a buzz on the National scene. It was only seven years into the club’s existence when we had our first Olympian, Ann Dodge. (see Ann’s Memoirs) and then the very next year, we won the national Championships which were held in Dartmouth. With numerous paddlers achiving National Team status, Cheema was clearly a club to be recognized.
Throughout the 80's Frank had moved on to coach the National Team (Canada's best showing to that date was at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics). Cheema continued to produce National Team Athletes and compete at a very high level. (see A Commodore Remembers the 80's) In 1990 Lazlo "Csom" Latorovski arrived from Hungary to continue our tradition of high performance as Head Coach. Cheema won the National Championships in 1992, 1993 and 1994. We have since sent five more paddlers to the Olympic Games (Kelly O'Leary, 1996, Karen Furneaux 2000 and 2004, Jillian D'Allesio, Mike Scarola and Richard Dalton 2004 as well as Csom as coach 2000 and 2004and Frank as Chief Official, 2000 and 2004.
Today Csom has become a National team coach and Mike Kerrivan, one of Csom's protegees, has become Head Coach. Under Mike's direction Cheema has named many paddlers to international and provincial teams.
In addition to our International strength, we are proud of our summer program and our younger paddlers. Cheema has always been a place where memories and friendships are made and never forgotten.