Ben Hayward – National Team Athlete

New Window!

I have been keen to get a new side windo...

CAN Fund

In the 2015 season, I was fortunate enou...

City Oasis

Third Year Studio Project. – Curre...

Best Photos

A gallery of some of the best images tha...


Bell Athlete Connect Program

Bella Bella

In the summer of 2013 I took two weeks t...




About | Ben

Award winningArchitecture Student.

Competing for CanadaIn White Water Slalom kayaking

Living off the grid in a CaraVanOver in Europe

on the road to

the 2020 Olympics intokyo



National Team Member

Ben Hayward is a 27 year old athlete from Edmonton, Alberta.  He started kayaking at age 12 in the sport of kayak polo, played in indoor swimming pools with the Edmonton Whitewater Paddlers.  At 14 Ben was introduced to whitewater slalom as well as flat water sprint kayaking at the Alberta Summer Games.  From age 14 to 18, Ben trained all three disciplines simultaneously until he specialized in whitewater slalom when he made the senior national team.  Ben is now pursuing Olympic ambitions as well as world class race medals.


Architecture Student

Ben Hayward is currently completing an undergraduate degree in architecture at Carleton University.  He has won many major awards and is the only student to have ever won the Stantec Prize twice.  Ben was also accepted into Postindustrial Landscapes which was an intensive ten day 3D scanning workshop run by Carleton with the Architectural Association School of Architecture.  Ben has been mentored by Douglas Cardinal through one of his recent projects which approached design in relation to the ontology of aboriginal peoples of Canada.

Some of Ben’s Numbers


Ranked Whitewater Paddler in Canada


Gold Medals in All Six Events at 2012 Nationals


Years on a National Team


Countries Kayaked In


Total National Championships Gold Medals


Kilometres Traveled to Competition


Prestigious Carleton Architecture Awards Won


Paddle Strokes Taken

A true artist

is not one who is inspired,

but one who inspires others.

Salvador Dali

Van | Starter.com

A SiSter website to help fund

my two year training plan

to live in a homemade caravan in Europe.

VanStarter Video

To get in the best possible shape for the up coming Olympics and Pan-Am Games, I decided to live predominantly in Europe to get access to the best venues. I figured that the most cost effective way to do this would be to live in a caravan and merge my accommodation and travel costs.

I traveled to Cardiff to meet up with a friend who helped me for for 10 days to try and find and outfit a suitable camper. The priorities were reliability, safety, comfort, and also to have a great marketing tool for sponsors (in that order). Nothing that we were looking at met all four of those requirements so we decided that the only way to do it would be to build something from scratch. Using Canadian design and building materials combined with British engineering and know-how, we worked for 7 straight days to source, insure, design, and construct every component for a homemade demountable camper.

I am eternally grateful for the amount of help, determination, and enthusiasm I received from Adam Benjamin Lloyd Williams through this entire project. Please visit vanstarter.com for more information and updates.


Canoe Kayak Canada Interview

By: Ian Miller

Ben Hayward is having a breakthrough season. The 24-year-old slalom athlete from Edmonton has cracked the World Cup final in back-to-back World Cups to finish 6th and 9th in Men’s K1. It’s been a few years since Canada has achieved a result like this in slalom and Hayward has mapped out his plan for international success. In addition to turning heads on the slalom scene, he’s also turning a few heads on the road with a truck he’s used his architectural skills to convert to a caravan so he can live and train in Europe. He’s launched a new website and fundraising campaign to take Canadian and international supporters along for the ride as he pursues a spot on the World podium and the 2016 Canadian Olympic Team. Here’s Ben with a few thoughts on his recent successes and adventures.

How has this year been different than previous years of training and competing?

This year I was actually heading into the season a little bit nervous for national team trials because I had not got the chance to race in any warm up events. I had a great camp in the Emirates this year but also had to commit a lot of time to university. I think most of the success is coming from having a body that is no longer hurting which I owe to the amazing support I got from Sherri Audet at Motion Works Physiotherapy.

What was it like to break into the World Cup final two weeks in a row and what did it take to get there?

The experience was unreal. I knew that I had the potential to get there last year and it felt amazing to race to my potential, and do it twice. Apart from being injury free this year, I think the races went well due to some new psychological race prep that I tried out this year. I felt a lot more focused and calm on the water than I ever have before.

Tell us more about your plan for success leading up to 2016.

I am really excited for the next two years because I get the opportunity to be a full-time athlete. I will be living in my caravan over in Europe for the better part of those two years. This will allow complete freedom to travel to all the best training venues, train with some of the best paddlers in the world, and also get a lot more race experience.

So where did you come up with the idea for VanStarter?

I have seen the amazing success that lots of other athletes have been having with these online ‘kickstarter style’ fundraisers. I really wanted to do my own but I didn’t want to lose the 8-15% that athletes usually pay to have their campaign hosted on established websites. By building my own website, I only lose 3% to PayPal and can use that savings to offer some quality givebacks that people actually want.

What have been the biggest challenges you’ve had to overcome to get this thing off the ground?

Prior to flying to Cardiff to build the van I had very limited experience in construction, website building, and cinematography/video editing. The last month and a half has been pretty intense learning all these skills and immediately applying them. There are still a lot of challenges to come as I need to learn the basics of being an interior designer, electrician, mechanic, and my own sports agent to promote all of this. It is one heck of a journey to be on though.

What has the response been like to the caravan and your fundraising efforts?

The reception has been more amazing than I could have possibly imagined. I am still awestruck by how quickly people got behind this project and supported me with almost a 3rd of my campaign goal raised in just the first 10 hours. The response over in Europe has been fantastic too. Every person’s head turns as I drive by and there is always someone asking me where they can get one. It also inspired one of my paddling idols, Danielle Molmenti, to donate a mattress and some cupboards because he loved the idea. I am so incredibly grateful for all of the support I am getting to raise funds for the project, and also to those who are helping share this story.


 join team hayward

by visiting


Brand | Services

Ben Hayward offers A unique

blend of talent and creativity

Presenting an image well suited to

SUCCESSFULLY promoting your brand.

 n the lead up to two historic sporting events: the first Pan-Am Games whitewater kayaking is part of and the first Olympics in South America, there will be important promotional opportunities to utilize, in the extensive media attention these events will garner.The Ben Hayward Brand is one which embodies passionate determination combined with ingenuity and creativity.  By linking your brand to his, your company’s message will be represented with integrity and sincerity, regardless of Ben’s athletic performance.

By working with Ben, you will gain access to multiple methods to market your brand. The caravan that Ben lives in was specifically built to be unique, newsworthy, and eye-catching to appeal to potential sponsors. The caravan will be on display all throughout Europe as Ben travels and competes and will be broadcast in Canada and around the world via social media, video blogs, news media, and word of mouth. Ben’s racing equipment, with attached branding, will be seen broadcast world wide at international competition and in news interviews.  This ad space will also be immortalized in photography and video taken at races to be used for further promotion.  Product use can perhaps be best promoted in Ben’s ongoing video blog that will show his journey to get to the Olympics.

come stop by the van

and have a cup of coffee.

or just drop me a line…

Contact | Ben

Get In Touch

let’s have a chat

I can help you

promote your brand.

  • Phone: (780) 267 3863
  • Email: bengrh@gmail.com
  • Skype: bengrh
  • Custom description here
    Yay! Message sent.
    Error! Please validate your fields.

    Follow, Like, Share all the social stuff