May 26th saw the second Ladies Training Day, again hosted by Reading Canoe Club. Kat Wilson and Alice Murphy, with the support of the MRC, organised the event that saw 37 athletes participate from 17 clubs. They were delighted to welcome paddlers from afar afield as Scotland, Swansea and Cornwall. The date was neatly chosen to dovetail with the Reading Hasler the following day, so paddlers could stay over and participate in both.
What’s more there were great conditions for both – minimal wind, plenty of sunshine and none of the torrential rain, thunder and lightning that had been forecast!
The age range for the day spanned 12 to 57 and divisions 2 to 7, from GB team to junior beginners in this all-inclusive day. For the morning K1 session, athletes were separated according to speed and divided among 8 coaches from various clubs. Focus was given to wash hanging, turns, technique and portaging (on Reading’s ready-assembled hasler pontoons).
The second half of the morning was presented by sports psychologist Danielle Adams. Formerly a competition swimmer herself and with seven years experience as a sports psychologist, she has provided support for both GB’s swimming elite and slalom teams. She gave very interesting insights into the mindset of competitors, techniques to contain nerves and provoked some interesting discussions amongst participants of their own experiences. ‘Pressure is a privilege’ was a good mantra to take from it!
After a hearty lunch provided by the Reading team, led once again by Tamsin Phipps – that was filled baked potatoes, followed by super-carb apple crumble … ideal paddler replenishment – there was an interactive question-and-answer session, in ‘speed dating’ format. Euros and Worlds medal-holder Alex Lane and former GB Junior sprinter and now an Elite BC coach, Imogen Collins, were among those anwering questions.
Last session of the day was for K2s, with 14 boats on the water, practicing wash hanging and those choppy mass starts.
Thanks Kat, Alice and all volunteers for a most informative day. It was super to see Reading Canoe Club easily facilitate this great day, plus an all-day session for ENTS K4 boys, all its usual club sessions, plus an adult beginners group!