Rugby Canoe Club is an affiliated British Canoeing club based in the Midlands. The club turned 50 years old in 2020. Their coaching team was recently strengthened with the addition of two new Paddlesport Instructors. Billy (18) and Máiréad (17) became the club’s youngest ever Instructors after undertaking their FSRT and 2 day Paddlesport Instructor course, Billy and Máiréad had previously been Cadet Leaders.
Club Chair Chris Fawcett said:
Billy and Máiréad have been club members for many years and have assisted many of our younger paddles develop their skills, their new award will build on this and they will be a great asset to the coaching team at the club.
Billy shares his journey through paddlesport…
I first showed an interest in Kayaking after watching the Singapore 2010 Summer Youth Olympics on an end of year television review of the year. By January 2011, I found my local canoe club in Rugby, Warwickshire. I was warmly welcomed and was grateful to commence my paddling in the warmth of an indoor pool.
I progressed to paddle on our local reservoir in the spring and thanks to the club coaches developed through the star awards. I was just 7 years old when I first paddled so the kayaking development matched my own growth. I was pleased to represent Rugby Canoe Club (RCC) as a youth leader, even making an appearance on our local BBC radio show to promote RCC.
Covid had an initial detrimental impact on our club but I was approached by our chairman to take Foundation Safety & Rescue Training (FSRT), followed by the Paddlesport Instructor. Following guidance at the time, both were completed at Ackers Adventure Centre in Birmingham in April 2021. We completed both courses with paddlers from other clubs which was great.
The challenge was balancing paddling with A Levels, but those are now complete and I have an apprenticeship. I am able to use the skills learnt to help other club members in a safe and professional manner. I have also completed many trips with RCC, from the scenic River Wye (Ross on Wye to Symonds Yatt) to the more challenging river Dee near Llangollen.
In summary, the FRST and Level 1 Paddlesport have benefited both my own development and that of RCC members with many new members enjoying this sport since restrictions were lifted.
Máiréad shares her thoughts about the Paddlesport Instructor course…
I first started kayaking eleven years ago at Rugby Canoe Club with my older sister. I really loved how friendly and supportive everyone was and I quickly realised that kayaking was the sport for me.
To help others discover kayaking in the same way I did, I decided to do the FSRT and Paddlesport Instructor courses with the full support of my club. The Provider on the course was really supportive and encouraging and I found the courses so beneficial in boosting my confidence when teaching and rescuing others. Even though the water on the canal in Birmingham was freezing cold I really enjoyed the experience and discussing different aspects the sport with like-minded people. I would definitely recommend them to anyone with an interest in engaging others in kayaking.
Become a Paddlesport Instructor
The Paddlesport Instructor is aimed at those running taster/starter sessions and short journeys in very sheltered water environments, within the safety management systems of clubs/centres or other organisations. The two day training course is available in range of stable craft including kayak, open canoe, sit-on-top and SUPs.
Click here to find out more about the Paddlesport Instructorand book your course today!