British Canoeing’s Flat Water Racing Skills Training Day for Juniors

By Jim New

Reading Canoe Club was the proud host for British Canoeing’s first ever Flat Water Racing Skills training day. It was for Juniors, from Div 9 upwards, and was held on Saturday 13th January.

With over 60 children on the water from 20 clubs under the supervision of 13 coaches, it was a great success. Some had travelled far – Swansea for starters, Chester, too. All paddlers seemed to have great fun, as well as work really hard. Although the flow had dropped considerably, the less capable paddlers dealt with the conditions really well.

The day started with a briefing for the coaches to get them thinking about goal setting and talking through ideas. The first task they set their paddlers was six times 1000m efforts, each with a turn around a buoy at the 500m mark. Whilst that session was going on parents were having a talk on goal setting themselves and how to support their athlete children.

Lunch was provided by Simon, Seumas and Vicki – baked potatoes and hot filling of either chilli con carne or chickpea and tomato curry, which seemed to go down well and provide the necessary refuelling!

A second session comprised 200m efforts for the younger ones, while the older paddlers tried out the K4s. A near capsize from Sam Betts’ boat was thankfully averted when he momentarily let go of his paddles. The other K4 was stroked beautifully by Finlay Topham!

Overall the day was a huge success with great praise given to the club. Thank you to all who helped – from parking duty to mass catering and clearing up. Yet again we proved what a great club we are.

A special shout to Seumas for so much of the organisation.